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Dog mess in Westward Ho! stopping children playing in park

By NDJSophie  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

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WESTWARD Ho! children are being forced to play football in a car park rather than on the village green due to the amount of dog mess in the area, a man has claimed.

Graham Palmer, 55, who volunteers at the Happy Café in Golf Links Road, said dog mess on the green next to the café and tennis courts had become a real problem.

“It seems to have got worse since the clocks went back, as it gets darker earlier and people can’t see dog walkers not picking up the mess so obviously,” he said.

Mr Palmer said he has counted more than 30 piles of dog mess at one time in the park, and has even seen piles of it on the pavement just metres away from a dog mess bin on the corner of Golf Links Road.

He said: “I have spoken to the council about it, and encouraged them to put up cameras which I think would help the problem, because then more people would be fined.

“We have installed cameras and signs outside the café which has helped fouling directly around the café, but it is going on around the green.

“The green is a family facility, it is right next to the tennis courts and crazy golf. Children have now taken to playing football in the car park rather than on the green to avoid the mess.”

Councillor Gaye Tabor, lead member for the natural and built environment at Torridge District Council said: “The council has done everything within its powers to help – we’ve put up more signs, we’ve spray-painted signs on the footpaths and we’ve put up more stickers. We’ve also increased our patrols in the area at random times throughout the day.

“It boils down to irresponsible dog owners letting their dogs off their leads and not cleaning up after them.

“It’s next to a children’s play area so I would appeal to people’s better nature – please clean up after your dog. Remember – it could be your children or grandchildren playing there tomorrow.”

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