Parish Council exploring new ways to tackle dog fouling


Alderley Edge Parish Council is exploring ways to tackle the growing problem of dog fouling, which selfish owners are leaving around the village.

Craig Browne and Mike Dudley-Jones recently met with a company which has been working in two areas of the country to eradicate the problem.

Councillor Mike Dudley-Jones said "The first thing we should all be mindful of is that if solving this growing problem was easy - every town and village would have done so by now! As we know only too well in Alderley Edge notices and signs with eyeballs 'watching you' seem to have little effect and something more radical is needed."

At their meeting on Wednesday, 28th February, the mechanics and economics of the scheme were discussed along with a number of actions which would need to happen in order to implement the scheme in Alderley Edge.

Councillor Mike Dudley-Jones explained "Alderley Edge Park and Chorley Hall Lane Playing Fields and the path that joins the two areas next to the Allotments would need to become designated and signposted as Areas with a Public Space Protection Order placed on them by Cheshire East Council.

"Dog walkers seeking to use these areas to walk their dogs would be required to demonstrate that their dog has been registered on the Alderley Edge DNA database at a cost of around £20.00. Registering is a simple mouth swab sample sent to the database. Registered dogs would be identified by a small, numbered fluorescent tag.

"Given that there is no other registration of dogs required by law (yet) since the old Dog Licence disappeared in 1987 the advantages of having a dog DNA registered go beyond just anti fouling as registered pets can then be traced if stolen especially when presented at Veterinary Practices, after such a theft. The £20.00 (approx) is a one off charge not an annual licence fee."

He added "Dog mess found in PSPO areas (a very small sample) can be sent for analysis and if the dog is on the database the identity of the owners can be immediately provided - and they can then receive a written warning. A repeat occurrence would lead to a Cheshire East fine of around £1000.00 with the DNA evidence ensuring that no excuses would be accepted. Clearly, most dog owners who are prepared to register for the scheme, would also be the owners most likely to 'pick up' so perhaps no great advantage so far.

"If, however, the dog is not registered the sample analysis process can still accurately identify dog breed, size, sex and if taken to conclusion even the eye colour can be identified! This might only be used for persistent abuse but it acts as a significant deterrent to those who might feel they can walk where they like, often early in the morning before work - and break the rules laid down so long as nobody sees them! This 'fear' of being caught by the evidence left by the offending dog, not because the offender was seen, seems to play a significant role in the success of the Scheme."

Councillor Dudley-Jones continued "I need to say again that my understanding is that once key areas are removed from the morning and evening dog walk for owners who refuse to register because they are now designated PSPO there is a rapid change of heart and fear sets in as the potential abuser realises they no longer have to be 'spotted' breaking the rules. The dog mess they decide to leave will be what convicts them!

"Is the pursuit of this Scheme so ridiculous? I am not sure that it is. Government legislation and discussion of registration surrounding dog and other animal ownership is coming back because DNA advances are so effective. It might be useful to help Cheshire East and our residents to join other success stories in the UK who are already leading the way?"

The company will be presenting to the Parish Council more fully at their next meeting on Monday, 12th March and they have agreed to run a registration stand at Alderley Edge May Fair on Saturday, May 19th.

Alderley Edge Parish Council will also be discussing this scheme with Cheshire East Council and exploring whether any funding could be made available to assist to implement the scheme.

What do you think about the proposed scheme? Share your views via the comment box below.

Alderley Edge Parish Council, Dog Fouling


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Vic Barlow
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 4:27 pm
Good luck with that!
Monica Sim
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 5:30 pm
I think this is an excellent scheme and should be extended to other areas where dog owners go particularly on their way to the Edge on Mottram Road. To see these bags of excrement lying around on the road and in the hedges is disgusting.

Would there be the cost of 'policing' this ie collecting the bags, testing the contents and then pursuing the offenders?

If the scheme were to be introduced there should be prominent notices throughout the Village as to how owners could be tracked by their own dog's mess and I do believe this would be a major deterrent to those who think they can foul other people's living space and get away with it because they think they are not being seen.
Chris Taylor
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 5:40 pm
All dogs are required to be registered by microchip which came into force 6th April 2016. A £500.00 max. fine applies if the first warning is ignored. Seems again the penalties are not proportionate to the crime.

If this scheme would ever get off the ground, is it a fluorescent tag for each area the dog is walked in? Could be quite a fashion trend for the posh canines.
Monica Sim
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 5:55 pm
By the way I forgot to mention that Cheshire can prosecute dog owners guilty of allowing their dogs to foul public spaces through the Single Justice Procedure just as they do for littering or failing to send children to school.

Also, I'm disappointed at the cynicism of Vic Barlow that well known dog lover and scourge of all those dog owners who bring dogs into disrepute.
Jon Williams
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 8:38 pm
Charging dog owners £20 a year to walk in a PUBLIC PARK
Dog poo DNA analysed

This will only lead to more mess in other areas, like outside your house !

As I have said before the current Act is fine, it just needs C/E to police it better:

"Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place. Registered blind people are not required to clean up after their guide dogs. There is also exemption for dog owners on some kinds of public land in England and Wales, including:

Land used for agriculture or woodlands
Rural common land
Land that is predominantly marshland, moor or heath
Highways with a speed limit of 50mph or more
Most local councils require dog owners to carry a poop scoop and disposable bag whenever they take their dogs out to a public place. Some councils offer free scoops: ask your council’s animal warden unit.

Look out for bins marked as dog bins to dispose of your dog bag. If you cannot find a dog bin, then double wrap the dog bag and place it in a normal litter bin.

If your street is littered with dog mess, you can ask your local council to clean it.

Fines and criminal offences
In England and Wales, local authorities can introduce public spaces protection orders, making it an offence not to clean up dog mess in certain areas. Under those orders, a person who doesn’t clean up after their dog may face an on-the-spot fine of up to £80. These fines are known as fixed penalty notices. If a person refuses to pay they can be taken to the local Magistrates Court for the dog fouling offence and fined up to £1,000.

The system of controlling dog fouling under public spaces protection orders was introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It replaces the old system of dog control orders under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005."

Former L A Dog Warden
Helen Gaughan
Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 8:46 pm
If this scheme could include the ginnel ( from the station ) and Davey Lane that would be much appreciated ....... Charlie and I are responsible doggy owners and are repulsed by those who " can't be bothered to bag " .... I've mentioned on previous posts that it's disgusting , lazy and a health hazard for those using this route on the school run when dog mess is encountered , as well as other pedestrians !!! This poor behaviour from doggy owners who are too arrogant to care needs addressing now !!!
Fiona Doorbar
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 7:42 am
I fear that this would just push the issue elsewhere. A simple redistribution of the current bins on the high street should be considered first...I can count 6+ in my minds eye, which is excessive down a street of 250 metres or so in my opinion.
Those that are the offenders don't care and won't register and won't be shamed into it either. I am a dog owner who never leaves a mess behind so why should I pay to prove I am responsible!?
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 8:23 am
Thank you to those who are thinking about these issues - and taking the time to post on this feature.
The Law, as Jon points out with his experience, is there to offer some protection but 'policing' the Law seems to be beyond the now limited resources of the majority of Councils, Cheshire East included. It is simply not going to happen. And even if it were more active the chances of catching an offender is so remote. In over 25 years of dog walking our fields and parks I have only ever 'spotted' and approached one offender. I doubt whether any warden would catch many.
Our dogs do need to be microchipped by law as Chris rightly points out but again few are and critically microchipping does not take dog fouling away. All that we can be sure about is that the dog mess was left by a dog that might have been microchipped - but probably wasn't!
Helen is rightly concerned by other areas that cannot be designated PSPO but I wonder if developing this change of emphasis in how we might approach this scourge is the reason why other areas in the UK are starting to see such huge reductions in illegal dog fouling.
Put simply, dog owners who are irresponsible know that they will only be caught if they are 'spotted'. It seldom happens, especially if the dog offends
early in the morning or late at night when few 'spotters' are about.
But if the offending dog mess becomes the possible route to eventual prosecution because a responsible resident takes a tiny sample, bags it and sends it for analysis the returned information will reveal name and address of a DNA registered dog or, more likely, the breed, size and sex of a dog that is not on the DNA owner address database.
The threat of identifying and naming that dog type and displaying it publically seems to tip the balance - and the improvement that we all seek. If the information returned after analysis identified 'Black Labrador - male - approximately 5 years old - brown eyes' surely we are in with a chance!!! Most regular dog walkers would know instantly who owns a dog of that description and more importantly, the owner would know they know!
Perhaps then a new culture will begin.
Vic Barlow might be right when he says 'good luck with that' but as nothing else here works perhaps we might surprise ourselves and realise that optimism is sometimes better than pessimism!

Mike DJ
David Hadfield
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 3:02 pm
This scheme just won't work ..... Why ?
Because irresponsible dog owners will not register their dogs and certainly will not pay £20 for the privilege ...... Thus, the culprits and their dogs will never be found.
Furthermore, who in their right mind is going to scoop up dog mess found in the street or in the park and send it to the council for analysis ...... it just ain't gonna happen !!!!
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 4:50 pm

So why does it work in other parts of the Country?
Lucy Allen
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 9:28 pm
I noticed a few weeks ago that the dog poo bin at the bottom of the path by station is not there anymore ? Why is this ?
Duncan Herald
Thursday 8th March 2018 at 7:53 am
There are two solutions offered above.
The one put forward by Mike D.J.& Craig B., which is complicated and is unlikely to be set up any time soon and the 'put bins into the Edge' suggestion.
Is the 'bins' answer possible?
My experience of the Edge is that most dog-walkers stick to the paths, as do their dogs mostly. So bins might only be needed along the paths. So not that many bins perhaps?
Would the N.T. object to bins being installed? That is surely something that either Craig (as a C.E. Councillor) or Mike (as a Parish Councillor) could find out for us?
Who might bear the cost of putting in bins?
Would the N.T. pay? See above re. asking.OR might the Parish Council pay? There is a precedent: the present Parsh Council paid to put table tennis facilities into the park (about £3,000?) and the previous Parish Council paid for (to buy and to install) the brightly coloured seats in the park, to replace vandalised ones (sorry, can't recall the cost).
Given the complications re. the £20/chip proposal, might it be seen as a good idea to try the 'bins' proposal?
The cost/time of emptying any bins? Surely not especially arduous?

Just a question : is the £20/chip proposal a Mike/Craig idea or a Parish Council proposal?

Last, can the idea that dog poo is a health hazard be stopped? Alderley dogs are de-wormed, de-fleaed, de-ticked, taked to a vet for check-ups etc. etc. I fancy that Alderley dogs are healthier than Alderley people?

If you worry about poo and health, consider the poo of the wild creatures, most of which are shot through with parasites!
Craig Browne
Thursday 8th March 2018 at 11:20 pm
Hi Duncan,

I believe Chris Widger (National Trust Warden, The Edge) has already addressed many of your questions, on a separate thread - nevertheless, I have followed them up with him, just to satisfy myself as to the Trust’s position.

The Trust consider that the provision of any bins would effectively invite people to bring their litter to the Edge, with the Trust then incurring the disposal costs. As an independent charity, entirely funded by membership subscriptions, the Trust seeks, as far as possible, to prioritise limited resources towards conservation management of the sites in their care.

Undertaking the management of dog waste bins and disposal of waste, would, in the Trust’s view, impact hugely on its core purpose. The small ranger team also cover 16 further sites across the county. Only 2 of the rangers are based at Alderley Edge and they are responsible for 5 further sites across Cheshire East.

We were approached by StreetKleen (Dog DNA company) some weeks ago and at this point in time, we are simply seeking further details regarding the service they offer, which is why we have invited them to address the Parish Council meeting on Monday. At the current time, there is no formal proposal, either by individual councillors, or by the Parish Council as a whole.

Finally, could I just correct your point regarding the table-tennis tables in the park? They were not funded by the Parish Council, but with the same Section 106 monies that were also used to pay for the replacement of the infant playground and the installation of the bicycle stand near the Ryleys Lane entrance to the park, following consultation with our Youth Council.

Kind regards,
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 12th March 2018 at 7:19 pm
Make the dog owners pay. Why should this be offloaded on to those who do not own pets. Though I agree only decent responsible owners will join. A very good idea in principle and good luck with it. There is a revenue goldmine for CEC if they increased penalties and paid for more enforcement instead of baiting motorists go for these dog owning miscreants . BTW if the owner of the Boxer dog walking unleashed on Heyes Lane or Davey Lane is following this thread I have applied industrial strength chlorine to the area by our front door area which they recently fouled (our property on our tarmac) as Jeyes fluid doesn't deter them nor does that "namby pamby" dried stuff the RSPCA suggest. Perhaps I am getting it wrong and I am supposed to be honoured by a Boxer fouling our property entrance. And perhaps I should be giving him a biscuit as a reward. I have to remove the mess each time so you may harvest as much DNA as you like if this sensible scheme takes off. Meanwhile I will photograph any offending dogs and owners and send them to the Council. As we no longer have a village stocks I am all for naming and shaming these utterly selfish folk who revel in giving responsible dog owners a bad name.