Newport dog mess campaign failing, says councillor, David Fouweather
A CAMPAIGN to clamp down on Newport pet owners who do not clean up after their pets is failing a city councillor has claimed.
Cllr David Fouweather says the streets are full of dog mess but only 16 £75 fixed penalty notices have been issued in the past nine months.
Of these one person was prosecuted for non-payment and fined £200 and ordered to pay £77.50 court costs, four paid in full and two people are paying in instalments.
The information sent to Cllr Fouweather from Cllr Gail Giles, cabinet member for licensing and statutory functions, said two fixed penalty notices were withdrawn after the owners challenged them and seven were currently with the council’s legal team with a view to prosecute for non-payment.
Cllr Fouweather said: “It was my view from the moment that this policy was announced by the cabinet member that there were not sufficient resources to be able to carry out the enforcement of dog fouling properly.
The issuing of just 16 fixed penalties for a nine-month period proves beyond doubt that this was just a gimmick from this Labour council.” The Allt-yr-Yn councillor has previously claimed the council does not have the resources to police the crime, with two or three dog wardens in the entire city.
Park wardens do not have the power to issue fixed penalty notices and community safety wardens rarely venture into parks, he said.
He believes the only way forward is to employ a private firm such as XFOR, which already works on behalf of Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen councils.
Asked if the authority was considering using such a company Cllr Giles said methods of enforcing the dog fouling and littering laws were under consideration, but no decision has been made.
In August we reported how the council was taking a tougher stance on offenders by fining them, when they would previously have been giving a warning when caught.