I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions about this blog but perhaps I should have made one to avoid posting about any councillor’s favourite topic: dog fouling.
Up and down the country it’s one of those issues that has become a cliche in for local government. But it’s become a cliche because it is a real problem in some areas. Personally the problem has taken on a whole new dimension now I occasionally push a pram and have to navigate four wheels and two feet through the Shaftesbury Park Estate.
And the problem hasn’t really gone away on the Shaftesbury Park Estate (or elsewhere, I imagine). In the area immediately around my house it seems dog owners have become a little more considerate, but only to the extent of dragging their dog to a tree base or gutter.
But while most people find that a bit distasteful it was perfectly legal. Indeed, I remember the old signs that – rather than telling people to clear up – merely advised people to “kerb” their dog.
But all that should be coming to an end. The council’s Dog Control Orders come into force this month, and will make it an offence not to clean up after your dog.
The Orders have been a long time coming, in part because of some mis-reporting in the Evening Standard that suggested we were going to try and ban dogs from all our parks (instead we are banning them from sections, like children’s play areas or sports facilities) but now they are finally here we can, hopefully, start dealing with irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.
If you have any information, or are concerned about a particular area, you can contact the council’s dog control team on 020 8871 7606 (or see wandsworth.gov.uk/dogs) or contact me and I’ll be happy to pass the information on.