Councillors step up dog fouling fight

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Two Hawick councillors are taking the battle against dog fouling to the top of Scottish Borders Council.

And another is claiming he deals with more dog fouling calls than everything else put together.

Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall, who both represent the Hawick and Denholm ward, have become so incensed they have written to deputy chief executive Phillip Bar demanding action.

Writing to Mr Barr following Tuesday’s area forum meeting, Councillors McAteer and Marshall wrote: “The council’s approach and management of dog fouling issues is under great scrutiny in the Hawick area.

“Stuart Marshall and I witnessed some heated exchanges last night [Tuesday] where a member of the public called for the council to develop a more effective strategy.

“I am also aware that we say we take this matter seriously but there is historical evidence that the council will not pursue those who do not pay fines, hardly evidence of our commitment. The portfolio holder [Davie Paterson] is emphasising that the council is taking this matter seriously. He said that he has asked for the council “to do something” while making it clear he believes this is a matter for the public to report offenders.

“I will be expressing our concerns publicly and, of course, be happy to be involved in supporting any discussion or action to support development of an appropriate strategy.”

At Tuesday’s town hall meeting, Mr Paterson said: “I have phoned the council and have told them I want something done about this but we need the public to help too. The councillors here have just voted for a budget and I did not see any alternative proposals put forward from them that would have allowed the reinstatement of dog wardens.

Councillor George Turnbull, who deals with huge amounts of dog fouling complaints, rounded on Mr Paterson at this point, saying: “I would like to remind you that when the vote was taken to get rid of the wardens you voted for it.”

Despite Councillor Davie have been issued for dog fouling.

Speaking at Tuesday’s area forum, PC Robbie Noble said: “We get lots of calls regarding dog fouling but it is not easy to catch offenders in the act. We do give them the chance to pick up after their dogs but I can confirm that there has been zero returns for dog fouling.”

Councillor Turnbull added: “I want to explore the possibility of using CCTV. We need a complete rethink on dog fouling. We are losing this battle and we need to start gaining ground very soon.”