Burnley Council has pledged to make tackling dog fouling in the borough a top priority in 2020.
A cross-party working group, set up by the new council administration to investigate the issue and find ways of reducing the problem that residents consistently highlight as among their top priorities, has reported its recommendations back to the full council.
One of the working group’s first recommendations has already been adopted by the council.
From 1st January 2020 the fine for irresponsible dog owners caught failing to pick up after their pets will rise from £75 to £100. This brings Burnley into line with most other Lancashire authorities.
Other recommendations include setting up a telephone “hotline” for people to report dog fouling “hot spots” so that enforcement work can be more effectively targeted, increased enforcement patrols, more signage and information posters, and an education campaign in schools to inspire children to spread the “clean it up” message and encourage their parents to pick up after their dog.
Councillor Cosima Towneley, chairman of the working group, said: “We’ve decided to increase the fine for dog fouling to serve as an greater deterrent and to demonstrate the council’s determination to take a robust approach on an issue that is a key area of public concern.
“We recognise most dog owners are responsible and do the right thing. They make sure they have enough poop bags with them when they go out on walks to pick up after their pets and help keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy.
“Unfortunately enough of us have trodden in dog dirt, trailed it into the house on the bottom of your shoes or the wheels of a pushchair, or just seen piles of the stuff lying around to know that there is a minority out there that simply don’t care about others and fail to clean up after their dogs.
“We’re determined to make catching more of those responsible for not cleaning it up a top priority for the new year.
“We’ll work with those residents that want to see this problem sorted out and catch and fine those that can’t be bothered to do the right thing and take responsibility for what their pet leaves behind while its out and about in our communities.
“You don’t want to see piles of dog poo lying around and neither do we.”