Flintshire councillor stays defiant after ‘Nazi’ slur over dog fouling plans

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A senior councillor has said he won’t be deterred after being branded “a Nazi” over plans to curb dog fouling.

Bernie Attridge, Flintshire Council deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, said he would continue to listen to residents’ complaints, despite the Twitter attack on the Connah’s Quay councillor’s proposal.

Responding to remarks made by Cllr Attridge on plans to introduce stronger tactics to prevent dog mess, Twitter user Liz Davies said it would be the implementation of “collective punishment on all dog owners” and added the hashtag “#nazi”.

Flintshire Council’s environment overview and scrutiny committee will debate whether to implement a pilot scheme to monitor dog DNA in a bid to curb fouling.

A committee report, published ahead of its meeting today, stated that a task and finish group was established to investigate dog DNA testing schemes introduced in England to assist with the problem of dog fouling in Flintshire.

Members have also recommended that a dog control public space protection order (PSPO) for offences on open space.

This would include marked sports pitches and play areas.

Cllr Attridge said he would take the remark with “what it deserves”.

“She’s called me a Nazi and then blocked me,” he said.

“It seems to be all about Wepre Park and the pitch there.

“I won’t be put off by whatever people call me.

“I do my job to the best of my ability and do things that are right and have ever since I was elected.”

The proposal in Flintshire is to dedicate an area for dog walkers who have recorded their dog’s DNA on a central database, which will be highlighted by a tag on the dog collar. It would be an offence to walk a dog in the designated area without a tag and any dog faeces found in the area would be traceable through a DNA test.

A pilot area for the scheme will be put forward at today’s committee meeting.

Cllr Attridge added that the local authority adopted a “zero tolerance” approach to dog fouling.

He said: “I’m a dog owner myself and I understand that it is a minority but I will be looking to introduce by-laws.

“I want to see better control for dog owners and what I’m pushing for is for it to not happen on marked pitches and play areas.

“It’s just not right and all I’m trying to do is listen to people’s biggest complaints.”

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