The Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council has proposed a motion to the Council (Wednesday 20 March) calling for more action on dog fouling and microchipping by adopting good practice from other local authorities, by making use of new technologies, and by working with the Dogs Trust charity.
The motion is being proposed by Shaw Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Gloster, who recently showed his support for the Dogs Trust campaign ‘A Tail of True Love’ which calls on all dog owners to take responsibility and show ‘true love’ to their pets by cleaning up after them.
Councillor Gloster said: “Dog fouling remains one of my constituents’ biggest bugbears. As a ward councillor, I receive many complaints as do my Liberal Democrat colleagues in Shaw and Crompton. Not only is dog mess a disgusting eyesore, but it also represents a health hazard. Children can be blinded by contact with it. Fortunately, most dog owners are responsible and do clean up after their pets, but a small minority unfortunately do not.”
Councillor Gloster’s motion is seconded by Liberal Democrat Crompton Councillor Dave Murphy, who proposed a similar motion to Council in 2014. He said: “Following our last motion, the Council introduced a boroughwide Public Space Protection Order, which covers dog fouling, but unfortunately chose not to adopt any new technology to help detect and apprehend offenders. We hope now that the technology is proven that it will now be possible to take a fresh look at tackling this problem.”
The motion calls for awareness raising and education to be undertaken to change the behaviour of errant owners and to encourage them to micro-chip their pets so they can quickly be reunited if their pets become lost. However ultimately the Liberal Democrats also recognise that there is the need for a robust enforcement regime.
Councillor Gloster added: “Unfortunately there is sometimes the need for a stick when the carrot is insufficient. We would like to see technology introduced so members of the public can report offenders using their smart phones in real time and we want to see the Council imposing the highest on-the-spot fine of £100 on offenders that is permissible under a Public Space Protection Order.”