COMMUNITY councils across the city want to see more environmental wardens on the beat in a bid to tackle the problem of dog fouling.
A dozen groups have come forward to express concerns after plans were unveiled to ban dogs from Portobello beach following complaints about out-of-control pets.
Representatives from neighbourhoods throughout the Capital said a lack of visible wardens was allowing irresponsible owners to get away with their behaviour.
They said dog mess on the streets and in public parks was always hot topic during their regular meetings.
Alex Dale, chair of Drylaw/Telford Community Council, said he wanted to see more wardens in areas where dog walking was popular.
He said: “The problem is that there’s not a lot of wardens. I’d like to see more resources targeted at eliminating this problem, as it is really quite offensive.”
Currie Community Council leader Graham Dane said: “It’s quite a serious problem here, especially around Currie Primary School.”
The Evening News told yesterday that a survey had been launched in Portobello asking for suggestions on how to clamp down on the problem.
A dog-free beach is one idea under consideration, while others have suggested big fines for owners who refused to clean up after their animal or attach a lead to it.
Richard Scott, chair of Trinity Community Council, said that his members had taken part in a survey last year and had called for more wardens to be put on patrol.
He said: “Dog fouling was one of the main issues raised by the respondents. Wardens seem to be few and far between, I don’t see them often, and they seem to focus on parks, when streets are also a big issue.”
A report in October last year revealed that there were more complaints about dog fouling in Edinburgh than in any other part of the country, with 5761 complaints over five years leading to 1008 fines being dished out.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment convener, said: “The council is very aware of the local communities’ concerns surrounding dog fouling, which is why during the past five years we have fined over 1000 irresponsible dog owners.
“A number of high-profile and successful educational campaigns have also been carried out. We try to deal with the problem by promoting responsible dog ownership, coordinating enforcement action, providing support for community groups and through education.
“We would encourage people to let us know where there are problems so we can target our resources.”