COUNCIL CLEANS UP ON ENVIROCRIME

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COMMUNITY leaders are poised to step up their fight against environmental crime in the High Peak.

The Borough Council’s executive has backed proposals for zero-tolerance policies on fly posting and littering plus tough actions to tackle dog fouling.

Offenders will face fixed-penalty fines of £80 for failing to clean up after their dog while environmental criminals who fly post or drop litter will be fined £50 on the spot. Litter louts aged 11 to 16 will normally be expected to take part in community clean-ups or suitable educational activity, rather than paying a fine.

Culprits who refuse to pay a fixed penalty will risk a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction by magistrates.

The proposed dog orders will make it an offence for anyone in charge of a dog:

  • To not remove dog waste from any publicly-accessible land
  • To not put a dog on a lead when told to do so by a council officer
  • To allow a dog to enter any children’s play area, multi-use games area, tennis court, bowling green or skate park owned by the council.

In addition, the executive is considering making an order for dogs to be kept on a lead in any High Peak cemetery; in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens; in Howard Park, Glossop; and in parts of Whaley Bridge Memorial Park and Manor Park, Glossop. However, no decision will be taken until discussions have taken place with the community select committee on the possibility of additional sites being included in the proposed order.

Before the new policies and orders are introduced in the autumn, the council is to seek the public’s views on whether the proposals go too far or not far enough. Consultation findings will be taken fully into account in fine tuning the proposals.

Before the fly posting policy is taken live, the council will carry out education and publicity to ensure that event organisers are aware of the restrictions – which will make it an offence to display a sign, placard, notice, leaflet or banner in a place which can be seen from a road, pavement or any public area. Commercial organisations will be approached first.

Introduction of the littering policy will go hand in hand with education in schools.

In addition, the council will also step up its promotion of enforcement activity taken.

Anthony McKeown, executive councillor for community services, said: “Fly posting and littering are illegal and unsightly. The materials are expensive to remove and have a negative impact on the local economy and people’s perceptions of where they live.

“Dog faeces can be extremely damaging to health, especially for children, which is why we’ve worked with local campaigners across the borough, including the Clean Up Glossop group, to tackle this problem. This new order updates and clarifies how we can tackle this ongoing problem.

“We appreciate that most dog owners act responsibly but we also want to make sure that our parks and open spaces are accessible and benefit everyone. While the new orders will require dog owners to keep their dogs on leads in certain parks and open spaces, we have ensured that there are parks nearby where dogs can be exercised off the lead, for example Buxton’s Serpentine Gardens, Bankswood Park, or designated areas of Manor Park, Glossop.

“We will be stepping up our enforcement patrols and publicity activities when the new policies come into force. But we can’t be everywhere at once, which is why we would urge public-spirited citizens to act as our eyes and ears by reporting environmental crime. Just call 0845 129 7777 or click the prominent Report It link on the home page of our website at www.highpeak.gov.uk”, he asked.

iENDS

08/08/12

HPBC Media Release Contact: Charles Malkin – Media Relations Manager

                                           Press Office: 0845 129 7777 ext 2128

Email: CharlesMalkin@highpeak.gov.uk

Web:  www.highpeak.gov.uk

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