Dolgellau partners target offensive problem
Following complaints from residents, Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns has recently been working with a partnership of local groups and agencies to improve the cleanliness of the Pencaeau area of Dolgellau.
During a recent survey, a local Gwynedd councillor and Gwynedd’s Street Scene Manager witnessed 30 separate cases of dog fouling in communal areas frequently used by local children.
The local partnership tackling the problems includes Councillor Linda Morgan, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement and Tidy Towns teams and North Wales Police.
Peter Simpson, Gwynedd Council’s Streetscene Manager, said: “This area of Dolgellau has a pleasant feel to it with great views, plenty of greenery and well-kept open spaces. It’s sad, therefore, that a few irresponsible dog owners are now allowing their pets to defecate in these areas, and especially as they are used as play areas by children.”
After the meeting, Councillor Morgan said: “We had a good meeting of the partners at the site and we’ve agreed what we can do to improve the situation. Firstly, a dog waste bin has been put up in the middle of the estate and awareness leaflets will be given to each household, together with free poop bags to dog owners.
“Tidy Towns will also work with local schoolchildren to produce posters highlighting the problem, and, importantly, street enforcement wardens will be on patrol at different times of day.”
Geraint Jones, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd’s Neighbourhood Services Manager said: “As a responsible landlord at Pencaeau, we are obviously keen to ensure that the site and its wider environment is kept clean and tidy. We are glad of this opportunity to be involved in this initiative to tackle this concerning issue of dog fouling, and our team will call at properties in the area to highlight the problem to residents.”
Councillor Gareth Griffiths, Gwynedd Council’s Highways and Municipal Cabinet Member, said: “Dog fouling on public land is our number one complaint from residents. There are a number of ways we can deal with this serious health issue and I’m pleased to see that Tidy Towns, together with the essential help of its partners, has been able to plan a joint approach towards achieving this.”
Many dogs are infected with parasites which can be harmful to people, especially children. Toxocariasis is a disease caused when the eggs of toxocara worms are transferred from dogs to people through infected dog mess or soil. Infection can lead to illness and even blindness.
In Gwynedd it is a criminal offence to take a dog onto designated children’s play areas, school grounds, sports pitches and certain beaches (April-September) or to allow your dog to foul any public space. Offenders are liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty, with failure to pay potentially leading to a court summons and a fine of up to £1,000.
For more information regarding Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns scheme, contact the team by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01766 771 000.
The Tidy Towns initiative is funded by Welsh Government, with the aim of improving the quality of the local environment.
Photograph: PCSO Shannon-Louise Llwyd-Hopcroft from North Wales Police; Arwel Williams from Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd; Alan Hughes and Jonathan Gwyn Neale from Gwynedd Council and Councillor Linda Morgan