Eviction warning for dog fouling

The cricket pavilion on Kirrie Hill which houses the camera obscura.
The cricket pavilion on Kirrie Hill which houses the camera obscura.

A NUMBER of Angus councillors met on Thursday at the Forfar neighbourhood services meeting to discuss ways to tackle the dog fouling problems faced in the area.

Councillor Ronnie Proctor, convener Donald Morrison, Councillor David May, Councillor Lynne Devine, and others, attended the meeting to discuss the issue of dog fouling in Angus.

There were more than 500 complaints and 680 requests for clean-ups lodged with Angus Council from 2011 until 2012, and the neighbourhood services committee heard that the “society problem” of dog fouling is on the rise.

A more proactive approach to dog fouling was decided on, as opposed to just clearing up the mess, as park staff, countryside rangers, environmental staff and housing officers will be empowered to issue fixed penalty notices, with the threat of eviction for repeat offenders.

Discussions will also be held with the Procurator Fiscal service to develop how cases would be reported to the Crown for further action.

Conservative councillor Ronnie Proctor said: “Although the majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs there is a small number who continue to let their dogs foul pavements and parks.

“Naming and shaming is the way forward and those who do not pick up after their pets will be reported via neighbourhood services, ACCESS Line or the police.

“People need to be educated about the harmful effect that dog fouling can have for young children and the elderly when they step in it.

“Kirriemuir is away to have a large amount of money spent on it with the CARS scheme to make the town centre presentable and it does not need dog mess everywhere.

“The public need to be aware that the majority are responsible and that those who are not need to wise up and understand the distress it causes as well as the blight on the landscape, parks and town centre.

“All dog owners should have civic pride.”

As mentioned by Ronnie Proctor, the CARS scheme, which is spread over five years, will apply to all properties within the Kirriemuir Conservation Area but priority is to be given to properties situated within the town centre as defined on the map of Kirriemuir.

Historic Scotland will, for any grant award over £25,000, require a standard security to be included as part of any grant condition that may result in all, or some, of the money being repaid should a property be sold within 10 years.

Whilst Kirriemuir still retains many of the features which make up its character and appearance, the town centre is starting to show signs of being in the early stages of decline.

The investment into the town will help reverse the decline and should greatly assist in the regeneration of the town.

The issue of dog fouling is frequently brought to the attention of councillors at the monthly Kirriemuir Community Council meetings and particular hotspots which have been highlighted by members of the public for dog mess is the popular play area and open space around the Hill, the pavilion housing and the Camera Obscura which was gifted to the town by Peter Pan author Sir J.M. Barrie in 1930.

A path leading from the top of the Roods to the Hill was declared as the area in Kirriemuir which has the biggest issue with dog mess.

And in February Councillor Ronnie Proctor called on the community to shame owners who let their pets foul.

Anyone affected by dog fouling issues should report issues in the first instance to the Access Office on 08452 777 778 or Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 who will liaise with the community wardens who patrol the identified areas.

Alternatively, any information can be left on the community office answer service by telephoning 01575 576625 and it is reminded that all calls are treated confidentially.

If dog owners do not pick up after their pets, the council or the police can issue them with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £40.