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Dad digging deep to stamp out dog dirt menance

Published date: 28 February 2012 |
Published by: Leader reporter
Read more articles by Leader reporter


A FATHER of two has launched a campaign to stamp out dog fouling using £10,000 of his own money.

Fed-up Gary Downie has vowed to clean up the streets after he faced the “grim reality” of pushing his seven-week old baby’s pram through streets covered in canine faeces.

Mr Downie, a former commercial banker who lives in Broughton, has bankrolled the launch of StreetKleen, a charity to remove dog dirt and provide education.

He said: “As a resident of Broughton who has a five-year-old at Broughton Primary School, and a seven-week-old baby, I have personally experienced the grim reality of pushing a stroller to the school and health centre in Broughton.

“I am concerned about my children. There are health risks.
“I was looking for something to benefit the community and I hope that StreetKleen can help.

“I have counted 500 pieces of dog mess on Broughton Hall Road. It is outside pubs, shops and schools.

“We aim to provide a three-pronged attack of this issue, removal, education and prevention.

“I put the money in to get the equipment to start it off. This is something I am passionate about.”

Teachers at Broughton Primary School are having to wipe dog faeces off children’s shoes with community leaders saying the problem is getting ‘out of control’.
It is hoped the charity can expand county-wide then across the UK.

Mr Downie, a former dog owner, said it will develop a more practical dog bin than the ones currently used in the UK with profits, as well as donations, ploughed back into removal and prevention.

He said: “Communities who have an issue with dog fouling very rarely get the offending dog mess removed properly.

“Communities themselves have to persevere with the offending dog mess on their pavements.”

Unemployed people are set to be recruited as part of the removal programme.
Flintshire Council has already introduced tough powers to tackle dog fouling in the county, including £75 fixed penalty fines and up to £1,000 fines after prosecution.
Increased patrols have also been launched.

Broughton councillor David McFarlane said he is delighted by the plan and is giving it his full backing.

He said: “There is a big problem with dog fouling in Broughton, especially for kids walking to Broughton Primary School.

“The children walking to school are standing in it and the teachers are having to wipe it off their feet.
“The situation has got out of hand in recent weeks.”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: “We have been patrolling locations across the county on a regular basis and have also been speaking to people out walking their dogs to ensure they are carrying bags with them, as well as making them aware of the penalties should they fail to pick up after their dogs.

“In addition, Dog Watch schemes have been implemented, which involve local residents working together with the council and North Wales Police to patrol their own communities and/or pass on information about those who do not pick up after their dogs.

“Broughton is one of our established Dog Watch schemes and since its introduction we have seen a notable reduction in incidences of dog fouling.

“The council has decided to increase patrols in this area and to step up engagement with local residents.

“Through this zero tolerance approach, it is anticipated that incidences of fouling will reduce.”

 

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