Spot fines for dirty dogs

A team of council workers has been given the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to rogue dog owners and litter droppers. Enforcement managers in Weston town centre and across North Somerset can now issue fixed penalty notices to people committing offence

A team of council workers has been given the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to rogue dog owners and litter droppers.Enforcement managers in Weston town centre and across North Somerset can now issue fixed penalty notices to people committing offences under the Cleaner Neighbourhood and Environment Act.Offences such as littering, dog fouling, graffiti, nuisance parking, fly tipping andcreating excessive noise are included in the act. The fine for letting a dog foul in public is £75.The decision to give the North Somerset Council workers the new powers was made this week.The authority hopes the new powers will spell an end to niggling antisocial problems which plague the lives of the district's residents.Councillor Deborah Yamanaka, executive member for the environment and the community, said: "I don't think the officers will be fining people if they simply see them drop litter, they will of course ask them to pick it up."But if they carried on or refused then obviously they would get a fine. We hope the threat of action will help deter the problem. It is possible that parish and town councils could also take up these powers if they wish and use it in their area.