Council vows to keep battling dog fouling problem

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson.

The battle against dog fouling will continue into the new year with a long term view to tackling the problem, Scottish Borders Council has assured.

The issue reared its head once again at last week’s full council meeting with Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson asking how the administration plans to fix the problem.

“It seems to be getting worse,” he said. “I am getting a lot of complaints from members of the public. Please tell me what this administration are going other than trying to educate people about picking up after their dogs?”

A one-year enforcement initiative, piloted from May 2016, saw private firm GLS commissioned to issue £80 fines to offending dog owners, in a bit to plug a gap which emerged after the warden service was withdrawn.

And in his response the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods and localities, Galashiels councillor Sandy Aitchison, hit out at those who continue to flout the rules.

He said: “It’s not that people don’t know what their responsibilities are. But we, as a council, are looked upon as the people who will go around and pick up after those in our society that abuse the privilege of living in out society.

“A lot of what we do in neighbourhood services is about the cooperation with the public and achieving a result.

“I will continue to pursue education, and enforcement and that will challenge it. We must take a long term view.”

“Dog fouling is an abuse on society.

“We are not talking about people who are ignorant of the knowledge, we are talking about the ignorance of people who do this, knowing it’s wrong and continuing to do it.”