On-the-spot fines are being used to crackdown on dog fouling and littering in Banbury’s parks, sports fields and cemeteries.
Banbury Town Council staff are now authorised to hand out fixed penalty notices to offenders following recent complaints about dog mess and an increase in rubbish on council-owned sports fields and open spaces – including the Hardwick and Southam Road cemeteries.
It follows a previous story in the Banbury Guardian (November27) after a football coach and his volunteers had to regularly clean up piles of excrement from the council-owned field in Horton View before every match, despite contractors being employed by the council to clear pitches of faeces and litter either the day before or on the morning of a game.
The team even had the embarrassment of an opposition team refusing to play on the field due to the amount of excrement.
Councillor Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council, said: “Litter dropping, and, in particular, dog fouling are anti-social crimes of the worst kind.
“Serious illnesses can be contracted from dog faeces, especially where children are involved. Banbury Town Council is determined that its parks and playing fields will be clean and safe for all.”
Five members of the council’s staff have been empowered to issue the fixed penalties. Litter droppers can be handed £75 fines and dog owners who fail to clean up their pets’ faeces will get £50 tickets.
Offenders who do not pay the fixed penalty sums will face court action where the maximum fine for dog fouling is £4,000 and for littering £10,000. Town council staff will also carry out regular patrols – working in pairs with cameras – to gather evidence that will secure convictions in a court of law.
Mr Mallon said: “The council is cracking down on anti-social behaviour for the benefit of the responsible residents who want to use the facilities in total safety. We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay the fixed penalty notices.
“Waste bins for litter and dog faeces are provided in all areas and they should be used – or people should take their waste home with them. There really is no excuse for people not clearing up their mess.”
The town council’s patrols will be in addition to those already been carried out by Cherwell District Council (CDC) officers, and the town council’s operation will run as part of the scheme run by CDC.