Frank Field MP
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Don't send Oxton to the dogs

A highlight for me last Friday was the meeting in Oxton on how to deal with the owners of dogs who foul our pavements. This little summit was called by Matthew Patrick who heads the Labour Action team in the area.

The widespread publicity for our meeting had already galvanised the Council into action. There will be a doubling of the numbers of the officers on dog patrols.
The meeting asked me to follow up on four issues. Does the local authority already have the power to fine dog owners who are not carrying dog bags when walking their dogs?
The meeting also wanted to know whether the local authority has the power to reintroduce dog licenses, to chip stray dogs and whether the council could toughen up its policy in publishing names and photographs of anti social dog owners.
The meeting asked Oxton Society representatives, who run their own scheme making dog dirt bags easily available in the village, if they would help spread this practice to other community based groups. Yet another suggestion was whether residents could call on Neighbourhood Watch schemes to help report anti-social dog owners.
The Council to its credit has increased significantly the number of fixed penalty fines on dog owners, up from one the year before to eighty in the last year.
The action team will be reporting back on all these issues to local residents. It will also be distributing an easy guide to residents so that they can report to Streetscene antisocial dog owners.
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