One dog warden, nine car parking officers

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SEVERAL weeks ago I submitted several questions to North Tyneside Council under the Freedom of Information act for a full year (2009-10), and News Guardian readers might be interested in the responses.

The council was asked how many employees they used to tackle the constant dog fouling that residents of this borough endure.

Of course all residents are aware that there are a core of ignorant, selfish people who allow their dogs to mess our streets, parks, football pitches, paths and beaches, in fact everywhere and anywhere.

Nothing that I or anyone else writes in this newspaper is going to change that.

I have complained to the police in the past, I have complained to the council, I have produced video evidence, shown it to the police and the council, even supplied the name and address of the individuals, but no prosecution.

It was an accident, you see, the owners had no idea what the creature on the end of the lead attached to their hand was doing.

At every point I am assured that both the police and the council take it seriously, that it is a matter of public health.

I know residents of the borough also take it seriously and most are disgusted, including the majority of responsible dog owners.

So what might you ask do the police/council do about this, there are after all 32 square miles of North Tyneside and they can’t be everywhere.

The answer is no, he can’t, the one solitary dog warden the council employs (with a van), though he has four other staff in the ‘team’ whom are trained to deal with dogs in the warden’s absence or to assist as required, he cannot be everywhere.

The information given revealed that a grand total of 48 fixed penalty notices were issued with a further 70 ’warning’ letters sent, (those people obviously had no idea that they shouldn’t clean it up). The number of verbal warnings is unknown.

In contrast, how many fixed penalty parking charge notices were issued by the nine parking officers? 16,125.

That’s right, sixteen thousand one hundred and twenty five.

No written warnings were issued to any motorist.

MARK HOLMES

Tynemouth