A shocked councillor has told how a disgruntled resident demanded he clear human poo from his front garden. Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones (Con) recalled the strange encounter, as town councillors discussed the persistent problem of dog mess at a meeting last week. Revealing some of the unrealistic expectations people have from their local representatives, he told the Gazette:
“I got a call from a resident in Studd Hill asking me when I was going to come round to pick up the poo. I answered ‘why should I be doing that?’ He replied ‘well you are my local councillor’. I told him I was a councillor, but not for his area. Then I told him that I didn’t see it as the job of any local councillor to personally come round and clear up dog mess. He asked me ‘why, don’t you do it?’ So I told him ‘well it’s on your grass, you get dogs mess everywhere’. He then said, ‘no, it’s not dogs’ mess, it’s human’. He told me he had stood and watched a man doing it.”
Cllr Vickery-Jones said that while he could understand why the resident did not confront the man, he was nonetheless confused as to why a councillor should do the job. He added:
“It scared me actually, the thought of it becoming one of my duties to cleanup after that. I was totally taken back and amazed to hear it. It certainly was an extraordinary thing to ask.”
Councillors at the area member panel meeting also discussed what could be done to help in the battle against dog owners failing to pick up after their pets. Cllr Jennie Edwards (Con) said that a resident had sent her an email calling on the council to do more. She said:
“There is always someone who is careless with their dog. I don’t think it’s a huge problem compared with anywhere else, but we need to do more to help people report it and get it sorted out.”
Some suggestions were to provide free dog mess bags in places where people walk their dogs. Cllr Peter Lee (Con) also said there had been an agreement with Hampton Primary School to put up signs to warn dog owners to clean up after their pet. He added some of the signs were still available if people needed them. Canterbury City Council and Serco also have a special machine called Fido which can scoop up faeces. To report a problem with dog fouling in your area visit www.serco.canterbury.gov.uk or call 0800 031 9091.
Herne Bay Gazette, May 29th 2014