Businesses urged to help tackle dog poo

Dog warden, Lee Richardson – with Ziggy, and Recycling officer, Sally Dixon, beside the dispenser at the Fosse car park in Richmond

Dog warden, Lee Richardson – with Ziggy, and Recycling officer, Sally Dixon, beside the
dispenser at the Fosse car park in Richmond

More dog poo bag dispensers are going to be installed. In a press release, Richmondshire District Council says a pilot scheme to issue the dog waste bag has been successful enough to be expanded.

And they call on local business leaders to get involved and help fund the project. The council says:

An innovative scheme to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets is to be extended across Richmondshire following a successful pilot project.

Free dog waste bags will be available to dog walkers at waste bag dispensers throughout the district.

Council Spokesperson, Tony Duff, explains “We trialled these dispensers and found them to be very successful in encouraging dog walkers to pick up after their pets and keep our streets, paths and parks clear of dog mess. The poo bags are free from the dispensers, which offer advertising space for local businesses. The only cost to the Council will be the initial siting of the dispensers.

Businesses are being encouraged to support the scheme by buying advertising space from TiksPac – the company providing the dispensers and the free dog poo bags.

We aim to install 10 dispensers to start in key locations and hopefully provide more in response to demand from local businesses”.

For more information please contact TiksPac on 01925 593892 or Sally Dixon at the Councilon 01748 829100.

The latest weapon against dog poo – spray paint

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L-r: Catterick ward Councillor Derek Sankey, parish councillor Simon Young with Mitch and dog warden, Lee Richardson.

Dog poo blighted areas are going to be spray painted in a bid to clean up our mucky streets.

This latest scheme from Richmondshire District Council will see messages spray painted on to areas where owners have failed to pick up after their pets.
Parishes across the district are being asked if they want to opt in to the initiative – which the council claims has had ‘massive success’ during trials in Catterick Village.
There, parish councillor Simon Young has reported cases of dog fouling down by 80%.
Spray paint will be used to highlight dog mess – bearing the messages ‘no fouling’, ‘scoop that poop’ and ‘pick it up’.
The water based non toxic paint lasts around six weeks and different colours will be used on a monthly rotation to estimate the success of the campaign.
“This system has already shown a massive decline in the instances of dog fouling in other areas – and if we can repeat the 80% success rate of Catterick Village across he district we will have gone a long way towards wiping out this anti-social behaviour,” said council spokesperson, councillor Tony Duff in a press release today.
All parishes are being given the option of taking part in the scheme – clerks are asked to contact the district council on 01748 829100.
Regular readers of the Richmond Noticeboard will know we have been campaigning for more prosecutions in this area – you can read more on that in the archive here.

Dog fouling latest – more signs

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Dog warden Lee Richardson and recycling and street scene officer, Sally Dixon, pictured erecting signs in Richmond

The council has just launched a new dog fouling campaign across the region – including Richmond. Regular readers will know that we’ve campaigned here over the years for more action on dog fouling but whether putting up signs with no enforcement action will really work remains to be seen.

(Certainly the sign left on the ground at the top of Cornforth Hill last night is unlikely to do anything more than become litter kicked down the cobbles…..)

We’ll keep calling for more prosecutions but, in the meantime, here’s what the council has to say in a press release this morning:

Dog fouling hotspots across Richmondshire are being targeted as part of a national campaign to urge owners to clear up after their pets.

The District Council is erecting 40 glow in the dark signs in areas that are blighted with dog mess. The ‘We’re Watching You’ signs are visible after dark – research shows that dog owners are more likely to pick up after their dogs when they think they are being watched.

The authority – which has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy for the campaign – has already mounted signs in Richmond, Reeth, Colburn, Hawes and Leyburn. Their success will be monitored – and they will be moved to new areas over the coming months.

More dog patrols promised

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Highly visible: Dog warden

Increased patrols to combat littering and dog fouling are being carried out across Richmondshire, according to the district council.

In October four on the spot fines were issued following the appointment of an in-house Dog Warden at Richmondshire District Council.

“He is tasked not only with collecting stray dogs but also enforcing litter and dog fouling fines,” said Councillor Tony Duff, spokesperson for customer services.

“He has been targeting hot spots across the district and carrying out leaflet drops in areas affected by dog fouling and also educating dog walkers by issuing free poo bags and advice.”

Between August and October the Dog Warden collected 24 stray dogs – 19 of which were returned to their owners, according to the press release.

If anyone is experiencing a problem with littering or dog fouling report it by contacting 01748 829100 or dog.warden@richmondshire.gov.uk

Read more about Richmond’s dog fouling problems – including lack of prosecutions in previous years – here.

Meet our new dog warden

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Highly visible: Dog warden

Local lad Lee Richardson has a tough job on his hands. He recently started work in the newly created role of Richmondshire dog warden, responsible for dealing with the district’s strays – and of course the dog fouling issue.

It’s a role he is familiar with, however, having previously been responsible for stray animals when the service was provided by the company Animal Wardens during the period of the brief joining together of Hambleton and Richmondshire councils.

He starts work against a backdrop of complaints about fouling in Richmond and little enforcement as our inquiries into the number of prosecutions revealed.

But Lee has a direct weapon – the ability to issue on the spot fines for £50 for dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

“I’ve been getting fully trained up and hope I can make a difference, make things better. I really don’t like to see it (dog fouling) myself. I do a lot of cycling in the area, and running, and I know how it can be a problem for that.”

He will be patrolling the area and concentrating first on those places where people have registered a lot of complaints – in town expect to see him on Castle Walk and Maison Dieu among other places. But of course it’s going to be difficult for one person to witness all the fouling incidents and so the council also relies on witnesses contacting them.

You can call 01748 829100 or email enquiries@richmondshire.gov.uk to report incidents.

Alongside the fouling enforcement and education of dog owners out and about, Lee is also responsible for rounding up any strays and lost dogs. In the first month of his work he’s already had to deal with more than 20 calls from people about unaccompanied dogs.

Some are simply lost from home and can be reunited when their owners realise they are missing but others are being dumped. Recently one such animal was simply chained up near the kennels, abandoned.

The dog warden takes them to a holding kennels nearby and, if they are not claimed, they will go for rehousing.

Dog warden appointed

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Warning signs – but no action

Well here’s a welcome announcement – Richmondshire is to have a dog warden working the streets!

Regular visitors to this blog will know we’ve been highlighting the ineffective dog patrols that have not resulted in prosecutions and have prompted resident campaigns over many months.

Now we are pleased to report that the council is changing tack. In a press release issued today it announced:

Richmondshire District Council is launching its own new ‘dog warden’ service today.

The new service will be managed and provided by the authority’s Waste and Street Scene team and will see resources being better utilised in order to target areas where there are persistent problems with dog fouling.

The Dog Warden will work closely with our enforcement team to increase patrols across the district and issue fines for dog fouling. Other duties will include working with the community to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership.

“The change is caused by the end of the current contract with a private sector Company, prompting a review of the service,” said Councillor Tony Duff, spokesperson for customer services.

“A service which is managed directly by the Waste and Street Scene will ensure we are able to provide a better quality more responsive service.”

For more information or to contact the dog warden service call 01748829100

Read the background to the dog fouling issue here, we’ll be monitoring the new service too.

*There’s a lot of conversation about this going on at our Facebook page too. Have you had your say?

Dog fouling anger on Cornforth Hill

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Sign of frustration


Frustration over the council’s inaction tackling dog fouling in the town has bubbled up once again with a new handmade sign appearing on Cornforth Hill asking dog walkers to clean up.

The well-walked route many dog walkers use on their way to and from the filthy Castle Walk is often left fouled as well.

It’s not known who the poster maker is but maybe they’d be interested to see just how little dog fouling action is undertaken in the town.

As we’ve previously reported, there was just one prosecution between April 2012 and September 2013 across the whole of Richmondshire, according to information we released under the Freedom of Information Act.

And between 2010 and 2012 there were zero prosecutions. During the same time local people bothered to make 761 complaints about it to the council.

The lack of action came despite the fact that one Richmondshire Council employee, with a salary of between £23,749 -£25,320, is tasked with enforcement as part of their role. Just £50 was recovered on the behalf of council taxpayers who foot this bill.

This inaction compares poorly to other councils locally including nearby Hambleton which recently announced a focus on the problem.

Read the background and full data on our ongoing work to highlight this issue for town centre residents here.

Retirement for longest serving police dog handler

North Yorkshire Police’s longest serving dog handler, PC Vince Gillon, is retiring after 30 year with the force. He started his career as a Richmond beat officer in September 1984 and has been a dog handler for 22 years.

He since transferred to Ripon and Harrogate, then on to Scarborough and is currently training two new police dog recruits – trainee sniffer dogs Jacob and Atom.

You can see pictures and read more about Gillon’s career at ITV here.

Knitting, photography, dog fouling and cricket success

On the Richmond Noticeboard
139938562851104b5d441480a5e2787de843a1a4f2d68-mediumoriginalaspectdoubleWhat a fantastic spread of pictures we’ve had in from the Duck Race. They have everything – the drama of the day plus, of course, a little animal magic including this doggy duck fan submitted by Sarah_Lb8. There’s still time to submit your own and browse the full gallery here.

On tonight – it’s the Knit&Natter event at the KnitOwl with a a special Bergere de France session. More details here and don’t forget the May event noticeboard is open for you you to post all your events listings, for free.

Try doing the school run without getting dog poo on the buggy or scooter wheels – impossible. Quaker lane is particularly bad.

That was one of our readers’ response to our story about the lack of dog fouling prosecutions yesterday. Is that your experience? Which streets have you found to be dirty? You can let us know via the comments, on Twitter or at the Facebook page.

In the news

Well done to all girls on the Richmond U15 cricket club – they’re national champions and here’s the trophy to prove it!

Here’s this week’s enforcement locations for North Yorkshire Police’s mobile safety cameras for week commencing Wednesday 7 May.

There is a full meeting of Richmondshire District Council next Tuesday. The agenda – which concerns largely procedural matters – can be seen here.

Other news
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