Bid to bring in new dog fouling patrols in Portsmouth is refused by council

A neighbourhood warden clears up after a dog
A neighbourhood warden clears up after a dog
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THE city council will not employ a private firm for dog fouling patrols.

A scrutiny panel meeting was held on Friday to determine if a previous decision to not use company 3GS to crackdown on dog fouling and litter was the right choice.

And after more than two hours debating the issue, a tied vote was overruled by chair of the panel Councillor Simon Bosher and the decision made at the cabinet meeting for environment and community safety was upheld.

Councillor Robert New, portfolio holder, said: ‘I’m pleased that the panel was able to see reason and see the flaws in the previous administration’s report.’

‘They wanted to rush the plans through as an election wheeze.

‘But now this decision has been made that is the end of that. But we’re still committed to cleaning up the streets.’

At the meeting, Cllr New said there were too many unknowns in the original report.

These included a lack of consultation, research into other firms and how much it would cost the council and the taxpayers.

He added: ‘You cannot rush into decisions like this.

‘We have to follow the right processes, do consultations and hold cross-party talks.

‘We’re committed to tackling litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling but will do it in the correct way to protect the public purse.’

But for the Liberal Democrat councillors, the streets need to be cleaned up now.

Councillor Darren Sanders gave a deputation at the meeting.

He said: ‘It’s a kick in the teeth for everyone who wants to see a crackdown on mess in the city. It remains one of the biggest issues.’

‘People want to see us getting tough with it now.’

One of the arguments by the councillors in favour of backing the first decision was to see how a similar scheme worked in Havant.

Earlier this year, Havant Borough Council started working in partnership with Kingdom Security, a private environmental protection firm, to fine dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.

Cllr New said they should wait to see how that scheme works before bringing in anything similar in Portsmouth.

He said: ‘Havant is expected to finish its project in three months.

‘We can use their results to see if it works.

‘We can get figures from their officers rather than a run a pilot ourselves.’

But for Cllr Sanders, Havant is too different to Portsmouth.

He added: ‘The people of Portsmouth won’t want to wait for Havant to work out what to do.

‘We are not Havant. We had a golden opportunity to do a pilot on our streets to see if it would work.’