A COUNCIL has vowed to tackle the ‘scourge’ of dog poop which is 'blighting' an area.

Ribble Valley Council has said it wants to introduce tighter controls on dogs in public to make the borough cleaner, safer and healthier.

These would include requiring dog owners to carry bags for the disposal of waste and keeping dogs on leads on council land.

The animals would also be banned from parish and town council owned play areas as well as churchyards.

Hundreds of complaints are made by residents about dog fouling each year to the authority and it said it spends £30,000 disposing of waste.

The council’s head of environmental health, Heather Coar, said: “Dog fouling is a significant health issue and in the last three years we have received over 1,000 complaints about it.

“Requiring dogs to be kept on leads or restricting access to dogs in designated areas will reduce dog fouling, which is blighting the borough.

“We are committed to taking action and the public space protection order is just one of a raft of measures aimed at tackling the problem, from warning signs and on-the-spot fines to night patrols and school visits.”

In 2014, the council introduced five dog control orders to tackle irresponsible dog owners, but changes to Government legislation means these orders will cease from October.

Now the council is proposing to replace them with one general order.

The new powers would also increase the fixed penalty for breaching the order, meaning people would pay £100.

Ken Hind, leader of the council, said: “My only appeal is to those who deliberately break the control orders.

“No responsible dog owner has anything to fear from these proposed orders. It is not an imposition to ask the public to act responsibly if they have dogs.

“We are listening to what the public think and we expect the dog owners will feel the same about this.”

Residents can have their say on the proposals until September 4, by downloading a questionnaire at ribblevalley.gov.uk or phoning the council on 012004251.

For more information visit ribblevalley.gov.uk.