The new dog bag dispenser in Heysham funded by residents David and Carla Brayshaw
A couple from Heysham have funded a new initiative to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets after Lancaster City Council removed its ‘poo bag’ dispensers in the area.
David and Carla Brayshaw paid for a plastic bag dispenser on Sunny Slopes in Heysham so dog walkers have easy access to a bag if they need one.
This comes after Lancaster City Council removed three of its own similar dispensers in Heysham.
The council said that dog waste had been deposited in one of the dispensers and they were “ineffective and costly to replenish and maintain”.
But Carla Brayshaw, who is a former city councillor, said she was “disappointed” at the council’s reaction.
“Dog fouling is a massive problem,” she said.
“We’d offered to take a stock of (bags) and re-fill three council dispensers near where we live.
“But we couldn’t keep up. As fast as we were filling them, they were being emptied.”
“We believe residents from other areas were taking the bags and tying them to railings (for dog owners) to use where there was a (dog fouling) problem.
“Lancaster City Council took the dispensers down. We said, put some signage up (to warn people not to take too many bags) but they didn’t. The council’s reaction was disappointing.
“So David and I asked their permission to install our own dispenser. The council has supplied the bags.
“But the council should be more proactive and do more. In our opinion, there should be more enforcement (against dog foulers). If there were some fines issued, it would send a message.”
Below, David Brayshaw refilling a council dog faeces bag dispenser in Heysham in 2020
A sign on the Brayshaws’ new dispenser encourages people to take a bag but makes it clear this should be for ’emergency use’ and asks people ‘please do not abuse’ the system by taking too many bags.
“So far, the problem hasn’t gone away but the bags are not being taken in such high quantities,” said Mrs Brayshaw, pictured below with her husband.
Councilor David Brookes, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health and enforcement at Lancaster City Council, said the council will “continue to do what we can to try and reduce the dog fouling problem locally and whenever possible, to bring those responsible to task”.
Councilor Brookes, pictured below, said: “A number of dog poo bag dispensers were installed in this area some years ago as part of a campaign to reduce ongoing problems of dog fouling in that area.
“Disappointingly, the offer of free bags via the dispensers was abused and no sooner were they filled, they quickly became empty again.
“The dispenser located close to Whinnysty Lane also fell victim to anti-social behavior with dog faeces being deposited in the dispenser. The dispensers therefore proved ineffective and costly to replenish and maintain and were removed.
“Having been approached by Carla and David Brayshaw who kindly asked if they could fund a dog bag dispenser in the Sunny Slopes area of Heysham, we have agreed to supply the bags in the hope that members of the community walking their dogs appreciate what is being provided for them and help to look after them.
“Dog fouling is a national problem caused by a minority of irresponsible dog owners who take little pride in their local area and refuse to pick up after their pet.
“In our commitment to keeping the district clean, we continue to do what we can to try and reduce the dog fouling problem locally and whenever possible, to bring those responsible to task.
“With only two dog wardens to cover the district, we continue to urge members of the public to be our eyes and ears and report any incidents to us so we can investigate.
“Dog fouling can be reported online at www.lancaster.gov.uk/dog-fouling Alternatively, people can report what they know by contacting customer services on 01524 582491 or by email to email@example.com
“All information provided will be held in strictest confidence.”