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Plans to reward dog waste snappers falls foul of Newbury councillors

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Howard Bairstow (Con, Falkland) was speaking at a community service committee on Monday when the issue of dog fouling at Newbury’s Victoria Park was addressed.
He said: “It would not be a witch-hunt. Members of the public with iPhones would be very effective.”
West Berkshire Council has already urged people suspecting foul play to come forward.
Writing in its July newsletter, the council says: “If you witness a person allowing their dog to foul on a regular basis, please tell us. Note what happened including a description of the dog, and owner if possible.”
But Mr Bairstow’s plan to snap offenders did not receive much support from fellow town councillors. Gabrielle McGarv-ey (Lib Dem) said she would have “grave reservations about people taking photos which could incur a fine. It could cause hostility problems and antisocial behaviour.”
Newly-elected deputy leader of the committee Arthur Johnson (Lib Dem, Pyle Hill) was also strongly opposed to the idea of the photos, which he described as “not pleasant”.
Tony Stretton (Con, Clay Hill) was also against the reward scheme, instead preferring to rely on signs and the use of dog wardens. He said there were enough bins but “it would be good if people were aware that these bins were close by.”
Previously the council has installed the bins for dog owners and erected signs in an effort to tackle the problem, which is largely centred on the area surrounding Victoria Park nursery school.
Services manager Granville Taylor said: “The worst area is just by the school. It is quite widespread.
“We are getting an increasing number of complaints. We are putting in extra dog bins, putting stickers on these bins and liaising with the school”, he added.
Last year the council drafted a code of conduct for users of the park in response to the growing problem of dog fouling. Wardens had reported having to clear up between 174 and 299 incidents each month.
Meanwhile, the nursery school at the park is engaging its children to design their own advisory posters to help promote the use of dog bins and to raise awareness of the problem to park users.

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