Anger over dog mess on Congleton streets

Residents and councillors have vented their frustration at the amount of dog fouling taking place in Congleton.
Former town councillor, John Saville Crowther, raised the issue during Thursday’s meeting of the Community and Environment Committee.
Mr Crowther said: “I would like to bring this committee’s attention to the disgusting issue of dog mess on our pavements and public spaces, and to ask for your support in stamping out this revolting practice.”
He said that he “found it distressing” when he saw children on Box Lane having to wipe dog mess off their shoes on the grass during recent bad weather.
“I really am angry that we should have to put up with this disgusting behaviour from so few in our town,” he added. 
Coun Dawn Allen, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, responded: “Congleton Town Council completely shares your frustration. It is illegal not to clean up after your dog under the Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2015, as well as being completely disgusting and causing an unnecessary hazard.
“As a town council, we will campaign to encourage people to clear up after their dogs. We provide and empty over 160 public bins across the town to make it easy for people to dispose of waste properly.”
Coun Sally Ann Holland said: “Some people think they can just get away with it. People do it because they don’t want to get wet, out of laziness, but ultimately, it’s irresponsible dog ownership and we have to get some enforcements in place.”
Coun Holland also suggested that residents could purchase special stencils that can be used to spray warnings of dog fouling on pathways as a means of alerting people and to assist those enforcing the issue. 
Coun Jean Parry asked PC Iain Bell, who was present at the meeting, whether it would be a good idea for residents to take pictures of those committing the offence and “shaming” them on social media.
PC Bell cautioned that such actions would not be advisable because of privacy concerns. 
Coun Denis Murphy referenced a court report in last week’s Chronicle in which a Congleton man was fined £180 for failing to clean up after his dog, alongside £600 in costs. The offence took place in Endon, Staffordshire.
Coun Murphy said one of the “proactive things” that could be done in this area would be to put up more signs to warn people they could be fined for not cleaning up after their dog.
The potential consequences of dog fouling were highlighted when Sue Cooper told the Chronicle about her fears that her dog recently became ill as a result of other people’s dog dirt.
She said: “My dog has been sick with diarrhoea and has lost a load of weight as a result. I’m a dog walker and I’ve been talking to other saying similar things about their dogs getting sick.”
Ms Cooper said her dog, Charlie, was finally recovering after two weeks of being ill.
“A few years ago there would have been a dog warden out enforcing these things, but they have gone with the cuts,” she said.
Ms Cooper added: “I think these days a lot of people are on their phone when out walking their dog, but they need to be more vigilant of what their dog is doing and clean up after them.”