Flintshire barking up wrong tree on dog waste talks

Reporter:

Lois Hough

FLINTSHIRE Council has come under fire for asking a town council to carry out a consultation process on the siting of dog waste bins.

Buckley Town Council says it does not have the time or money to carry out important consultations with residents before each bin is put in place.

It is thought a saving of £3,000 would be made in the next two years if the town council took over the consultation process.

But town councillors are making a stand against the move.

Bistre West councillor John Woolley told a recent meeting of Buckley town council: “We can’t be expected to do this. The county council is cutting back because of the financial crisis.

“We don’t have the health and safety expertise in-house to deal with dog bins. It would go from costing a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds because we are bringing in outside expertise.

“We are not shy to invest in our own town but there is a line and we are on a very tight financial budget for the next couple of years.

“This is one pressure that Flintshire Council can keep.”

The lengthy consultation process would ask for feedback from Buckley residents on the potential locations of the dog bins and it would take about five working weeks to carry out a thorough consultation.

Cllr Woolley added: “This is not an easy job. It would be a burden on our time and budget.”

Dog fouling is a growing problem in Buckley where 10 requests have been made in two years for dog bins.

In April, the county council granted permission to the town council to fine  irresponsible dog owners.

Fed-up pupils at Drury Primary School and Southdown CP School also designed posters to display outside their schools and in the town to warn dog owners about not clearing up after their pets.

Councillors resolved to put their feelings in writing to the council’s chief executive, Colin Everett.

Steve Jones, head of Streetscene at Flintshire Council, said: “Flintshire Council provides bins for the disposal of dog waste at appropriate locations across the council area.

“The bins are emptied at regular intervals by council staff and there are no plans to change this arrangement or pass the responsibility and cost of the operation to the town and community councils.

"Town and community councils have been asked however to assist in the consultation process on the siting of the bins because of their close links with the community.

“This consultation arrangement has been successful in other town and community council areas and involves both the identification of appropriate sites and ensuring local residents are notified of the proposals.”

See full story in the Leader

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