Council chiefs have been warned to “get a grip” of dog fouling in Paisley

A veteran politician has urged Renfrewshire Council to get tough on irresponsible dog owenrs who aren’t clearing up the mess.

Councillor Jim Sharkey, who represents Paisley Northeast and Ralston, said he hasn’t seen progress in eradicating the problem, following a council campaign last year. 

Pinpointing Dunn Street in Seedhill as a hotspot for fouling, he said: “It’s fair to say it’s still an ongoing issue. I’ve got to say I haven’t seen a significant improvement. 

“It’s something that the council needs to get a grip of by putting responsibility on to the dog owners. 

“I think people who do things offensive to the community generally do so because they think they can get away with it.”

Paisley East and Whitehaugh Community Council also highlighted Barshaw Drive, Greenlaw Gardens, Greenlaw Avenue and Newtyle Road in Hawkhead as problem areas at its most recent meeting.

A deep clean was carried out to pavements in Seedhill, in the vicinity of Ladyburn Street and McKerrell Street.

Last February, the council had embarked on a campaign to shame dog owners by spray painting the mess fluorescent colours and putting up informative posters. 

However, Councillor Sharkey said a solution could be found by increasing warden presence in Paisley. 

He added: “What is needed is more attention from the wardens but they need the proper support.

“We need enough of them and they need properly paid. 

“That’s ultimately what it comes down to, it isn’t abut the fines. It’s about wardens being there. It’s the yellow jacket that does it.”

It is an offence for anyone in charge of a dog not to immediately clean up after the animal if it fouls in a public place or on private land without the owner’s consent.

Dog owners who don’t pick up mess and dispose of it properly face a fine of £80.

At the beginning of October last year, the council had issued 18 fines in a year-long period, of which just seven had been paid.

Communities and regulatory manager Chris Dalrymple said at December’s full council meeting that officers were going as far as they possibly could to chase down payments with its debt recovery agency.

Renfrewshire Council has since said it is “unacceptable” for owners not to clean up after their dogs.

A spokeswoman for the local authority said: “It is unacceptable for an owner to not pick up after their dog or fail to dispose of it correctly.

“Where a street is highlighted as being heavily fouled, it is visited by the wardens and assessed.

“If deemed to be heavily fouled, it is cleaned by Street Scene and then targeted for action – this includes bright stencilling on the footpath, erection of signage and targeted enforcement by the Renfrewshire Wardens.

“The targeted enforcement will be undertaken at different days and times over several weeks.

“Dog fouling will continue to be a focus of our Team Up to Clean Up campaign moving forward and we will ensure the areas highlighted are checked in the coming days.”