Free dog mess bags to be handed out to Belper residents in dog fouling crackdown

A responsible dog owner cleaning up after her pet while out working.
A responsible dog owner cleaning up after her pet while out working.

Councillors at Belper Town Council are to launch a bid to eradicate dog fouling in the area by handing out free dog mess bags to residents.

The authority is planning to distribute 10,000 biodegradable bags to dog owners across the town, in the hope that it will crack down on dog fouling and encourage people to pick up after their pets.

The town’s deputy mayor, Councillor Dan Booth, put the idea forward at a town council meeting last week where councillors backed the plans, which will initially be trialled through a pilot scheme.

Cllr Booth then hopes the scheme can be as successful as the one previously put on by Amber Valley Borough Council, which provided around 900,000 dog poo bags to residents per year, although she said that it won’t kick in for around 12 to 16 weeks.

“We’ve had people telling us dog fouling is a problem,” said Cllr Booth.

“I remember when Amber Valley Borough Council was running it. I thought, why don’t we have a look at bringing it in.”

Should the scheme take off and reach the heights previously set by Amber Valley Borough Council, Cllr Booth said that it would still be affordable.

“They had 900,000 bags a year, for us that’s 225,000 a year. The more you have the cheaper it will become.”

In a report handed in to councillors at the Belper Town Council meeting last week, Cllr Booth outlined his plans.

Despite the fact Belper Town Council is not responsible for dog fouling on the street and in public places, the deputy mayor said that the authority can help combat and reduce the problem.

“Like most areas, Belper does suffer from a minority of dog owners who choose not to pick up their dog’s mess.

“I feel that if we as a Town Council introduce a scheme where dog owners can collect free waste bags for people to pick up after their pets, then they have no excuses.

“To deliver the project, I would like us to use a number of methods. Firstly, bags should be available to collect from our offices.

“Secondly, I would like to see us explore the idea of working in partnership with pet related businesses i.e pet shops, vets etc.

“Thirdly I would like to see the bags available to collect from at least one retailer in each ward of Belper.”

What do you think? Should Belper Town Council be spending money on free dog waste bags ?

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