A DISGUSTED dog walker says he is sick of seeing dog mess blighting a children’s play area.

David Thompson, of Cheveling Road, Colchester, says he has been asking Colchester Council to remove dog mess from a popular play area for about three weeks.

He said parents had told children not to visit the site, on the corner of Old Heath Road and Speedwell Road, due to the “horrible” mess.

Mr Thompson, 67, said: “We have got a play area on the corner, it is fenced off with swing and roundabouts, someone has let their dog make a mess all over the rubber mat in there.

“I spoke to my councillor Mike Lilley, who said he would get down there and get it sorted out straight away.

“The horrible mess is still there, except it is now dry and even more disgusting.

“To be honest I feel like complaining to the council is like hitting your head against a brick wall.”

He added: “The park is on the way back from a school and so is used often by children.

“They say dog mess carries all sorts of diseases, it is disgusting to leave it in an area like this.”

Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, said: “Mr Thompson phoned me two days ago about this issue.

“I checked with the zone wardens and they had received no complaints about dog mess at this area. “After visiting the site myself, I couldn’t actually see any evidence of dog mess there.

“We spend an awful lot of time talking about and dealing with dog mess.

“Our resources are really limited.

“We encourage parents and dog walkers to report people not picking up their mess.

“If our tougher fines don’t work, we will increase them further.

“We will also be looking to fine people who don’t carry bags.”

TOUGH new rules will mean the council can fine litterbugs and irresponsible dog owners £100 - increasing to £1,000 and a court prosecution if they fail to pay up.

From next Monday (May 15), community zone wardens will have the power to issue a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to anyone who fails to clear up after their dog or who drops litter.

Previously, littering could land people with a £75 fine and dog fouling could cost people £50.

Failure to pay can result in a court prosecution and £1,000 fine.

Last October, the council introduced a borough-wide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) against dog fouling, following a consultation with residents and local organisations.

The PSPO applies to all public land, along with all locations where the public has permission to access private land, and enables the council to continue enforcing against dog fouling following the repeal of the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

Litter enforcement remains under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The council says the minority of people who do not always clean up after their pet or who drop litter have a “disproportionately negative impact” on peoples’ enjoyment of the borough’s streets and open spaces.

The council is encouraging people to report instances of dog fouling or littering to them.

Colchester Council’s portfolio holder for safer communities and licensing, Mike Lilley, said: “Our Zone Wardens do a great job enforcing dog fouling and littering, in line with our determination as a council to promote public health, protect the environment and discourage antisocial behaviour.

“It really ought to be second nature, by now, to dispose of rubbish properly in litter bins, and that goes for dog waste too which can also be placed in an ordinary litter bin in the absence of a nearby dog bin.

“Dog fouling and littering can have a serious impact on public health, the environment and our enjoyment of the borough, and so it is only right that we continue to widen and use the enforcement powers available to us to deter a minority of people from acting inconsiderately.”