A BOROUGH-wide campaign has been launched to tackle the growing problem of dog fouling in Rossendale.

Irresponsible dog owners are now being targeted by Rossendale Council, which has deployed more of its staff to patrol hotspot areas.

The council believes a large group of Valley dog owners are blatantly ignoring notices which instruct owners to clean up after their pets.

Haslingden residents have recently reported dog fouling problems in Greenfield Memorial Gardens to the police, resulting in the location becoming a priority for the council team.

Stubbylee Park, Bacup; Victoria Park, Haslingden; Loveclough Park in Loveclough; and Whittaker Park, Rawtenstall, have also all been listed as dog fouling hotspots.

And the area around Waterfoot Primary School has been flagged up by enforcement officers.

Coun Jim Pilling, who represents the Waterfoot ward, said: “This specific area is a problem and I’m all for the council’s decision to enforce the rules.

“Its a health and safety issue for the children walking to school, so it has to be a good thing some-thing is getting done.

“In the past the rules have been there, but enforcement has fallen short, so I hope now the problem is tackled better. ”

Coun Peter Steen, environment portfolio holder, said: “Not clearing up after your dog is simply not acceptable.

“Dog fouling is dangerous to people’s health, costly for the council to clean up, and the selfish people who are responsible spoil our parks and open spaces for everyone.

“We are sending out a clear signal to people who continue to let their dogs foul and don’t clear up that they will not get away with it in the future.

“Although most dog owners are responsible, there is a hard core of people who don’t seem to get the message. Perhaps if we hit them in the pocket they may start to take notice.”

As a result of this week’s campaign, a team of 11 area managers will be issuing penalty notices, compared to the one animal warden who previously issued fines.

Four local PCSOs and nine environmental officers are currently undergoing training, which brings the total number of people able to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling in Rossendale to 27.