Dog owners and vandals face crackdown

VANDALS and irresponsible dog owners could find themselves in for a shock in Felixstowe – with on-the-spot fines if they don't clean up their mess.But the move could be costly, and there are already doubts over how well the government "good idea" will work, or whether it will be another initiative that fails to inspire.

VANDALS and irresponsible dog owners could find themselves in for a shock in Felixstowe – with on-the-spot fines if they don't clean up their mess.

But the move could be costly, and there are already doubts over how well the government "good idea" will work, or whether it will be another initiative that fails to inspire.

In Felixstowe, litterbugs already face on-the-spot fines if they drop rubbish in the town centre.

But there has been concern the offence, like many minor matters, is not enforced.

Now parish and town councils are to be given the opportunity to employ wardens to fine for litter, graffiti, fly-posting and dog fouling offences under new powers from next spring.

Felixstowe Town Council has agreed to pursue the matter and meet with police and district council officials to discuss how it will work.

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Deputy mayor Ann Rodwell said: "I think we should pursue it because I don't think there is anything that annoys people more than going out of their driveway or their house and finding a dog has done what it is not supposed to do outside your door."

Councillor Doreen Savage agreed and said it was good to see the powers included fly-posting and graffiti – though these were not easy offenders to catch.

She said: "I think there are a lot of issues to be looked at here because I don't think it will be as easy as it sounds.

"We also need to look at the financial aspects, but the ideas have a lot of merit."

Liberal Democrats Harry Dangerfield and Mike Ninnmey said it could be a role the community support officers took on.

Mr Dangerfield said: "What worries me is the town council might have the will to do this but not necessarily the money."

Town clerk Susan Robinson said the powers were optional, but if the council decided to take them up, it would have to budget for wardens to patrol the town and council taxpayers in Felixstowe would have to foot the bill.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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