Fines on way for dogs' foul play

WALKERS who allow their dogs to foul on playing fields and football pitches could soon be hit with fines. For years villagers have complained about the dog mess littered across Sharpham Road Playing Fields in Cheddar. Referees controlling junior football

WALKERS who allow their dogs to foul on playing fields and football pitches could soon be hit with fines.For years villagers have complained about the dog mess littered across Sharpham Road Playing Fields in Cheddar.Referees controlling junior football matches often have to officiate matches with a trowel as well as a whistle and set of cards. Parents have often complained about the health risk should their child land in the faeces. But now the parish council is hoping to take advantage of new Government powers so they can prosecute irresponsible dog owners.Parish and Sedgemoor district councillor Jeff Savage is spearheading an effort to get the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environmental Act enforced in the village when it is introduced this month.Under the act, wardens can report walkers who are seen leaving dog mess behind and issue them with a fine.He said: "The new act is being implemented at the moment and Sedgemoor is working very hard to get it introduced in Cheddar."I have already requested that our dog wardens visit Sharpham Road more frequently and outside normal hours - at the times people walk their dogs rather than during office hours."I think the fact children are playing on pitches which are dotted with dog mess is absolutely disgusting and I feel embarrassed when it is brought up."I don't think dogs should be banned from Sharpham Road, and if we wanted to ban them from the pitches they would have to be fenced off, which isn't practical."If a prosecution is made then I think it should be well publicised to send a message."Cheddar Parish Council has also agreed this week to post information about the dangers associated with dog fouling around the village.Any money collected through fines will go back to the authority which issued them. The Government has been advised that fines should be small enough to be claimed easily and not result in many appeals. They are likely to be under £100.

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