So the great move forward from the beloved Leader of Liverpool Mayor Anderson has made us all a laughing stock. We will just have to train the dogs to clear up after all!
So now we have it folks. The plan announced by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson to offer council tax rebates to people who gave evidence leading to a conviction in court cases where dog owners didn’t clear up their dog’s poo was declared to be illegal at a meeting of the Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee last night. Cabinet Member Steve Munby gave the meeting this information as part of a response to a ‘call-in motion’ from the Liberal Democrats which was proposed by Me. Cllr Munby made clear that although the council would look at some sort of financial incentives the Mayor’s suggestion was illegal because it is against the law to encourage people to give testimony in court because it could be seen as an inducement.
In moving the motion which asked for a full report to be represented on the scheme before it was put into practice I said, “Liberal Democrats have no objection to the principle of charges and fixed penalty notices etc and agree that we need to act on dog fouling and littering but we believe that this idea is impractical and incapable of delivery. Most of the people who allow their dogs to foul are people with whom most members of the public would not want mix. The idea that they would go to court to give evidence about people who live in their own community was always highly fanciful.
This is an important issue, Dog mess is smelly, unsightly and unhealthy. It can lead to blindness and other conditions because of the diseases contained within it. It is especially dangerous for children. In some areas you have to slalom your way along the pavements to avoid the filth.
What we need to deal with this matter is firm action and not gimmicks. Any money spent on this type of action would be better spent on dog wardens who could give fixed penalty notices and are trained to stand up to abusive people and often poorly controlled dogs”.
Frankly I was amazed that so many headlines had been generated by the Mayor of Liverpool about a policy that is incapable of implementation because it is illegal. He makes a laughing stock of both the himself and the City when he does so. People living in areas beset with dog poo need action not headlines.
I am very pleased that the Cabinet Member agreed to bring back a full report before any incentive schemes are introduced. That way we will all know the costs, the practicality and the legality of any scheme and politicians can take full responsibility for the proposals.