Councillor pins his hopes on dog fouling strategy

Local member Davie Paterson is urging townsfolk to 'take repsonsibility' and pick up after their pets.
Local member Davie Paterson is urging townsfolk to 'take repsonsibility' and pick up after their pets.

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson is hopeful that a new long-awaited Scottish Borders Council strategy will end an almost 30-year dog fouling battle.

This week, a council spokesperson revealed that although the new strategy is still being discussed, there have been no dog fouling tickets issued in the town in the last six months.

Mr Paterson said he’s been working with officials and other councillors to come up with an effective strategy which will be unveiled soon.

He said: “I’m hoping that the new strategy will make a difference. I think it’s high time the public played a greater part in this. People have to take responsibility and if they see someone allowing their dog to foul they need to get in touch with the authorities with names. I have been dealing with dog fouling issues since 1988 and although there is no easy answer to this, I’m hopeful that we will see an improvement.”

Mr Paterson also refuted suggestions that the new strategy follows complaints from Hawick councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall who wrote to the council demanding action on the dog foulers in February.

Mr Paterson said: “I’m not going to let others take the credit. This strategy was on the go long before councillors McAteer and Marshall wrote to the council. We’ve been working hard on this and I’m confident the new strategy will be effective.”

Councillor McAteer added: “While dog fouling continues to blight our streets we are a little closer to seeing the promised council strategy to deal with this.

“Stuart Marshall and I contacted the council’s deputy chief executive in February this year seeking his help to tackle this problem.

“While I can fully accept the pressure council officers have been under with the Borders Railway, I hope some action will start to be taken to reduce a problem that has persisted for years without any material change.”

A council spokesperson said: “Officers have been reviewing the council’s approach to tackling dog fouling since before February and continue to do so. Officers will be engaging with elected members on this during the autumn.”