THE local authority’s dog fouling boss has promised to consider a new approach to the problem after several ideas were raised at a public meeting this week.
A presentation by Scottish Borders Council’s environmental portfolio holder Len Wyse (pictured) was the main item on Tuesday night’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Committee agenda, after the issue was highlighted in the Hawick News. And although the council chief claimed any alleged failure of wardens to hand out fines was due to a lack of complaints from members of the public, he agreed there could be ways to improve the “war” on dog fouling.
Admitting there is a problem in Hawick, he stated: “It’s no good just saying somewhere is a mess. We need information about who, where and when, then we can do something about it.”
Mr Wyse revealed that following recent press coverage he had received two calls about local owners letting their dogs out. “We handed out two fines in Hawick on Friday morning because people phoned me with specific information,” he said. “You can put as many wardens as you like out there, but without information they won’t nab anybody.”
But a suggestion from cleansing department employee Graeme Millar for vans to be emblazoned with ‘Dog Litter Patrol’ wording to act as a deterrent received a warm reception, with Councillor Ron Smith leading a charge for the committee to endorse his proposal. And Councillor Wyse confirmed the idea would be discussed at St Boswells. Mr Wyse also reacted positively to Councillor Stuart Marshall’s proposal for mobile CCTV, with the latter adding: “I think the public would be delighted if that could be piloted in Hawick.”
Although it was confirmed that it is unlawful to name and shame culprits, Councillor Wyse did concede they could do more. He stated: “I think where we are going wrong is that we should contact the press and let them know how many people are being fined.”
A lack of dog bins was also raised by members, although the public was reminded that any bin can be used. Despite supporting a plea for more bins, Councillor Smith commented: “I’m worried about the council always getting the blame, when the target has to be the dog owner.” Councillor Jock Houston commented: “This has to be intelligence-led.”
To report dog fouling call free on 0300 100 1800.