Fresh row over dog fouling in Portsmouth as figures show only three fines have been issued this year

Cllr Tony Briggs and environment ranger Nic Horton put up the glow-in-the-dark posters in Havant borough
Cllr Tony Briggs and environment ranger Nic Horton put up the glow-in-the-dark posters in Havant borough
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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  • Parties at loggerheads over decision not to grant 3GS contract to patrol streets
  • Tories say figures show dog fouling is on the decrease
  • But Lib Dems aren’t happy more is not being done
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FRESH concerns have been raised that Portsmouth City Council is not doing enough to punish dog owners who don’t clear up after their pets.

Figures released by the authority reveal only three penalty notices have been issued so far this year to those who don’t clear up dog mess in public places.

People tell me time and again that they are fed up with Portsmouth’s streets being so messy.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth Lib Dem group leader

Four fines were issued for the whole of 2014.

The Lib Dems, who obtained the statistics, warned dog fouling is a problem across the area – a contract was to have been awarded to private firm 3GS to crack down on offenders, but the Tory administration decided against this last year.

But the council says the figures show dog fouling is on the decrease and say the authority’s new community Clean Cities team are working hard to keep streets clean.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth Lib Dem group leader, said: ‘People tell me time and again that they are fed up with Portsmouth’s streets being so messy.

‘Just three tickets for not clearing up after your dog in the whole of Portsmouth in the last seven months, and 17 for littering, is just not good enough.

‘Additional wardens giving out additional tickets at no cost to council taxpayers would have helped clean up Portsmouth and Southsea.’

But Tory council leader Donna Jones said: ‘I’m delighted that litter and dog fouling is on the decrease across Portsmouth.

‘We have worked hard to re-educate people about the effects of litter dropping and dog fouling rather than simply fining them.

‘People want their city to be clean and tidy and they deserve their council to deliver it. It’s a top priority for me.

‘That’s why in September 2014 we merged the community wardens and estate support officers’ roles and launched the new Clean Cities team.

‘The Liberal Democrats were about to sign a contract with a private company, 3GS, who would have issued fines to people (up to £70) when the Conservatives took control in June last year.

‘I stopped the signing of the contract after legal advice and some basic common sense.

‘I don’t want to be issuing draconian fines to people, especially those that were almost impossible to enforce.’

It comes after only one fine in the first two months of a crackdown on dog fouling in Havant was issued last year.

But the borough council has now put up glow-in-the-dark signs with the slogan ‘we’re watching you’ across Havant and Waterlooville in an effort to get through to thoughtless dog owners.