After months of campaigning Councillor Muir welcomed the local authority’s decision to employ a part-time member of staff.
Councillor Muir worked directly to resolve the issue with Council staff, after discovering FIDO – a dog fouling removal vehicle – is regularly out of action and unavailable to be used in Holywood, leaving dirt strewn across footpaths.
Commenting on the victory, Councillor Muir said: “After receiving numerous calls from concerned constituents, and witnessing the notorious problem myself, I started to make enquiries as to why the situation had become so bad.
“I quickly discovered FIDO is prone to being unwell, often in the kennels for repair and regularly impounded due to mechanical malfunctions. As these problems appeared to be on-going, I was keen to achieve a resolution and effectively used the budget setting process to secure an extra member of staff who will be primarily employed to remove dog fouling from the streets of Holywood.
“Rather than purchasing another potentially unreliable machine an extra pair of hands has now been secured. The part time member of staff will start work early in the next financial year, commencing from April 2014, subject to ratification by full Council on Thursday January 23, 2014.”
Alliance Holywood representative Kate Nicholl added: “When it comes to clearing the streets of dog fouling, detection and enforcement is the key. The majority of dog owners are responsible, but it is the minority that leave mess behind who are destroying the comfort of many when out walking in Holywood.
“It can be difficult to detect offenders and I would urge anyone who sees a dog owner being irresponsible when it comes to cleaning up after their pet to register a complaint with North Down Borough Council, raising awareness of problem areas. Along with my colleague Councillor Andrew Muir, I will be continuing to monitor this situation in coming months.”