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Issue:- Thursday, 28 July 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 4.

Praise for Wirral dog owners

DOG owners in Wirral are the tops when it comes to scooping up the mess when their pet 'does the business' in a public place.

Enforcement officers from Kingdom, the organisation tasked by Wirral Council to implement its zero tolerance approach to tackling dog fouling in the Borough, say they have never encountered such a high level of compliance with the law.

It is nearly 2 months since Kingdom took over the responsibility for dog fouling enforcement as an extension to the litter contract they already fulfil on the Council's behalf and over that time Officers have observed more than 600 people 'bag it and bin it' after their dog has made a mess.

They have also issued 25 fixed penalty notices over that period when a person hasn't done the right thing, but generally the officers say Wirral owners are amongst the most responsible.

Michael Fisher, Division Director at Kingdom Environmental Protection, said:- "We work on behalf of 30 local authorities across the country to enforcement environmental legislation on their behalf, but my Officers tell me they have rarely encountered such a clean borough as Wirral when it comes to dog fouling.  It does appear that the vast majority of dog owners in Wirral go out of their way to ensure public spaces are kept clean and they are to be commended for that."

Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, added:- "It is not surprising to hear that so many Wirral owners are doing the right thing when it comes to dog fouling. However, if anything, this just makes us even more determined to crackdown on the small minority who think they can get away with not cleaning up after themselves. We have made a promise to local people that we will create and maintain an attractive environment for the benefit of residents and we are committed to achieving that by 2020. We have an ongoing, eye catching campaign to try to highlight to these people what a horrible impact their actions can have on others who might inadvertently come into contact with their mess. The latest phase of this campaign is being rolled out over the summer holidays, when more and more people will be out and about enjoying their leisure time. The last thing anyone wants is for dog muck to spoil that, so the message remains; do the right thing; bag it and bin it."

The 'Do the Right Thing' campaign is backed by numerous environmental groups, including the New Brighteners; a team of volunteers dedicated to keeping streets, beaches and open spaces clean and tidy.

Cllr Mooney added:- "All of us have a responsibility to keep our communities clean and tidy. We're still at the stage where the Council, supported by groups like the New Brighteners, actively go out and pick people's litter up for them. Ideally, however, we will get to the stage where people are taking more responsibility for their own rubbish and putting it straight into a bin. That message seems to be getting through to the majority of dog owners, let's hope people continue to adopt that same approach when it comes to general litter."

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