The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has expressed his disappointment and frustration over figures revealed through a recent Freedom of Information Act request which show that Oldham Council have massively reduced action on irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets. The figures show that in 2017 only one dog owner was prosecuted and the offender received only a £40 fine.
Councillor Sykes said: “This inaction sends out completely the wrong signal to irresponsible and inconsiderate dog owners. The vast majority of dog owners accept that as part of the responsibility of pet ownership they must clean up after their dog in the interests of public health and to help keep our streets and public parks clean, but regrettably a few do not. The fine of £40 is also derisory when the consequences, particularly for children, of coming into contact with dog faeces, such as blindness, can be so grave.”
Councillor Sykes added: “According to these figures the number of public complaints received went down from 425 in 2013 to 40 in 2017. This doesn’t add up – councillors constantly receive complaints about dog fouling; it is one of our biggest causes of complaint. This leads me to believe that people are not reporting this, because they can see that no action is taken and offenders are simply not prosecuted. We need to see more action from Council on this now that is what the public wants to see!”