Dog fouling - zero tolerance needed

As Dundee Labour's Environment spokesperson I am calling for real action to combat dog fouling in the city. I welcomed new plans by the City Council's Environment Department but there must be stronger enforcement.

I welcome the report which was agreed on Monday evening. (pages 3-10)  It is good to see that the number of officers of the council who can now issue Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling has now increased to 23.  My experience and the experience of my colleagues in the Labour Group is that when we ask for action on dog fouling we are told that there is only one officer available.  Indeed on Monday evening in the Council Chamber SNP Councillor Ken Lynn agreed with me and said that he had received the same response.  It is good that the number of officers who can issue Fixed Penalty Notices has increased but if they are not actually combating this disgusting practice on our streets it is a pointless exercise.

I have contacted officers in the Environment Department looking for more information about who is able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices and how often each officer is issuing them.  I am concerned that it is difficult to ensure that Fixed Penalty Notices are paid and I will be looking for ways in which we can ensure that those who are irresponsible enough to allow their dogs to foul our streets know that there is a penalty which will have to be paid.

Most dog owners in Dundee take their responsibilities seriously, it is important that those that don't are aware that there will be zero tolerance of dog fouling in our city.

There was also interesting developments about the licensing of professional dog-walkers and that is an area where I will be looking for updates.  There was also the development of dog walking trails on Balgay Hill and at Dawson Park.


Council agrees support for refugees

On Monday evening Dundee City Council unanimously agreed to support the council taking part in the Syrian Vulnerable Person Relocation Scheme. (The report is on pages 3-5 of the document.)  I have previously stated by support for refugees.  There is still a lot of details to work out with regard to this scheme and I have asked about the numbers that the council might be able to welcome. 

It was good to speak to people outside the meeting who were making the point that refugees are welcome in Dundee.  It was also good to hear from the deputations in the meeting about the work which is going on to offer practical help to refugees.  One of the main ones is the Dundee Refugee Support group, their Facebook page is here, please support them if you can. My colleague Councillor Kevin Keenan asked that the council look at what support it can give either in kind or in a charitable donations to support the work of these organisations in Dundee.

I was pleased that the council spoke with one voice on Monday evening.  It is important that we continue to look for ways to support refugees and also find a solution to the problems which cause people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.