Monday, September 30, 2013

Mess Fine Mess

Apols for the graphic picture, but it does rather illustrate what we're up against here. Yes, I'm talking barkers' nests.

We all know that a toddle along Thanet's pavements and promenades can be a bit like tip-toeing through the proverbials. Nowadays I have taken to walking with my head down, scanning for the offending items, in the hope that my diamond-studded Church's brogues can remain uncontaminated by the digested remains of Tyson's Chappie and chips, thereby missing out on the wonderful views our island has to offer.

Still, we do know from all those signs on every lamp post that any owners caught failing to clear up after Fido can be handed a, er, 'on the spot' fine of £75, or a maximum penalty of £1000 if they're taken to a magistrates' court.

So, how many dog doo-doo fines have our beloved Thanet Council issued in the past year then? Go on, take a guess. 100? 50? Well, following an FOI request by one of my lovely readers, I can tell you the answer is 4. F-O-U-R, four.

Another request for the number of beach litter fines issued in the last 12 months reveals an even lower figure. The lowest figure you can get, actually. That's right, a big fat zero. And that despite the worst litter seen on Margate Sands for 30 years, when it took a team of 12 cleaners an entire day and night to clear the beach after July's Jamaican party.

You'd think for a council that says it spends more on cleaning than any other, and which has just poured £3.4m down the TransEuropa plughole, they'd be a bit keener at recouping some of our council tax!! Kuh!!!


Anonymous said...

No, not surprised. Just fed up with looking down. Worse for mothers with kids in pushchairs though - cleaning the wheels is hard and smelly work.

Barry James said...

when a local councillor was asked why no street cleaner had swept our street in the last 18 months the reply was "we don't do street sweeping in residential streets unless we are requested by the residents to do so" Now why do I pay my council tax again?

Anonymous said...

How long before we have the photo call of Ian Driver, megaphone and placard in hand, standing beside a pile of dog droppings. Perhaps the placard might read 'EXPORT DOGS NOT SHEEP.' Trouble is he has already driven that ship away to another port.

Unknown said...

8.22.....Why export the dogs?
It's the owners that need exporting!
And get the council to get off their butts & prosecute the owners.

Anonymous said...

I'm a recent Ramsgate exile now living in Ottawa, Canada. I visited Ramsgate for 3 weeks in August and 2 things struck me as soon as I arrived - dog mess and litter! The Council don't drop litter or cr*p in the street! I think you're aiming at the wrong target!

Duncan Smithson said...

A friend told me a story of a block of 8 flats where everyone has a dog. And there is one person that leaves her dogs mess around. They all know who it is, apparently.

These people bring a bad name on the many courteous dog owners on the isle. Name and shame or pay a fine. We should prosecute this one more.

And responsible owners should talk to irresponsible owners.

Anonymous said...

Off topic I know but talking of irresponsible owners, does anyone have details of the Manston KIACC meeting last week?

Anonymous said...

Correct Mr Canada, the council do not shit in the street or throw litter around, but they do take our money and spend it on cleaning up the mess those inconsiderate people leave behind. My concern would be are they spending our money wisely? Are they tackling the root cause? With no fining on beaches for rubbish and 4 fines for dog poo across the whole lake in a year tells me they are happy with the status quo.

John Holyer said...

Anonymous 1:30 am,

Here you go again - so tiresome. Find the answer for yourself and stop pestering the grown ups.

Anonymous said...

Richard, you will be glad to know that Thanet District Council issued 4,738 parking tickets in the latest year with data publicly available.

I would say this council has got it's priorities totally wrong.

William Epps said...

Love it, John, but have you yet had chance to see if those windows have grubby nets or Thai silk curtains!

On thread, a community can do much to help keep their neighbourhood clean. With the best will going, there is not sufficient money to have council workers following dog owners or litter bugs twenty four/seven.

John Holyer said...


I plan to take a stroll past the widows later this week. Your mention of Thailand has re-stimulated my interest in that beautiful country. It has been many years since I last had Thai food. I must seek out a good Thai restaurant in Ramsgate.

Though I have to admit that this talk of dog fouling has rather put me off my grub . In my experience the fouling was once far worse than it is now. The culprit is usually the same owner who cares nothing for others.

Anonymous said...

Stroll past the widow ?

That John is a classic Freudian slip.

I assume you have alighted upon the character ECR once dubbed "Tim Garbled" ?

The thread brings back memories of my late father. He was an ambulance man and we lived at the ambulance station/local health clinic.

When social workers were first invented staff waited with curiosity to see what these new one year training wonders would be like.

Not impressed. A male and a female of the new species strutted up heads leaned over empathy imparting to one side and fixed grimace social welfare smiles displayed. Expecting some sort of welcoming choir. Then the male snorted back footballer style and spat on the ambulance forecourt.

After a brief discussion dad punched him flat and dragged him back and forth through the offending sputum. Then refused him admission to the clinic because of cross infection hazard (It was ex Army Jap POW outpatients day)

Police let that go. Bit of a laugh. Next was the corgi breeder whose pack on a gang lead crapped in unison outside the pram entrance to the clinic. So I endorse the point about dog poo and wheels.

Dad ambushed the dog breeder who went home with poo in his pockets and later found poo through his letter box.

That's when police knew when to turn a blind eye.

The bit that made me laugh was the medical officer of health bollocking the old fella. "Am I to understand we are giving you so little work you have taken to creating your own casualties ?"

Anonymous said...

How come only 4 fines in the past year when according to the last audit commission report there were 363 in 2009?

Anonymous said...

The ambulance man decking the social worker and then putting poo in the dog owner's pocket is about as credible as the publican who laid horizontal a whole rugby team (or were they Morris dancers) during folk week. Could this kind of thing be catching?

Anonymous said...

Mmm, dad sounds like a bit of a childish wally.

alltrades said...

I recently asked the council for more dog poo bins in Hearts down park or at least empty the one there. The reply...People in Thanet are too clean and the council cant empty the bins fast enough!

Anonymous said...

Kindly change the picture on this post...............its put be right off my morning wheaty bangs

Peter Batt said...

The reason there are so few dog turd fines is that Thanet council doesn't have the dog wardens to impose them. As a dog walker myself, the wardens seemed to disappear around 2009. Presumably, as part of the hideous cuts in central government formula grant that Thanet has suffered since the Coalition came to power, there is zero chance there will ever be anyone to catch the inconsiderate dog walkers and/or enforce the no mess bylaws. Hence the low number of fines.

Incidentally, the parking fines number is probably on the low side, too. Which is almost certainly because of there are now so few parking attendants out there to issue any tickets. Thanet has had to retreat into providing statutory services only - and is, by all accounts, struggling even with that. We ratepayers might be paying more, but the formula grant provided by the government has fallen by around a third in three years.

Anonymous said...

Good attempt to lay blame on the coalition mr batt, but I don't buy it. TDC spent £950k on parking wardens to take on £900k of fines. I don't see anywhere on the priority list of issues advised by residents "problem parking".

People have to cut cloth accordingly in all walks of life. Thanet people have advised crime, litter, clean beaches and dogshit as priorities. They should be obliging

Peter Checksfield said...

Personally I blame it all on Simon Moores... however, Tony Flaig blames it on Clive Hart, John Hamilton blames it on Ian Driver, and John Worrow blames it on both Ken Gregory & the Russian government!

Anonymous said...

We are a society awash with regulation but bereft of the means to enforce it. In the case of dog mess. Anybody who walks around Thanet will have seen irresponsible dog-owners and those of us who aren't too feeble do challenge people who have come out without bags (i.e. no intention of clearing up). But my challenges are usually met with abuse. What is required is some enforcement with the power to do something about it.

It's a bigger problem than just dog-mess. It frustrates me when I hear police chiefs blathering on about mobile phone use going up or down. Every day I see multiple people using phones whilst driving. The police can only be catching a miniscule fraction of the people doing it and so, people don't think there's much risk of being caught.

The bottom line is, there's no point in having rules and regulation if you aren't prepared to fund enforcement.

We shouldn't have to pay for people to clean up dog mess. We should place the onus fairly and squarely on dog owners. A few £1000 fines would work wonders.

Anonymous said...

We are paying through the nose for fat cats to sit in offices and retire early with big pay-outs. Meanwhile, people who did useful jobs which were of some benefit to the taxpayers, have been laid off. It's all the wrong way around.

Anonymous said...

A few real life examples, 6:56, might help prove your point.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Just to post that when I contacted our beloved Council to ask them to clean my street they did so within 72 hours!

We had 3 blokes in hi-viz clean the gutters, weeding and general tidying up followed by the road vacuum cleaner driven by a bloke with one arm tanned more than the other.

All in all was quite impressed.

The dog sh!t is a problem, called them to say that we counted 25 piles en-route to school one morning but seemed very little could be done, it seems that money has to be prioritised and certain things drop down the list.

As someone mentioned high above it doesn't actually take much for us mere mortals to help out, a bit of community spirit goes a long way and as I experienced the other day when tidying the bit outside my house within an hour it seemed that my example had spurred another 10 or so home owners to do the same... net effect is a cleaner street.

Anonymous said...

All very beautiful rob, but the scummers down my road are hard core junkies with shitting dogs and broken windows. They need enforcement, which we pay for but don't get

1 o'clock Rob said...

Burn 'em out? @8:14

Anonymous said...

Regarding the lack of airport 'noise' fines ..
back then MK were using noisy DC8s ..
Currently all cargo and passenger jets using Manston are classed at a rating that makes then not eligible to be fined for noise ..
Check the Thanet Gazette for a run down of the important stuff raised at the meeting

Anonymous said...

Surely there are no noise fines because Infratil and TDC removed the noise monitors?

Similarly any initial noisy flight isn't fined in the 106 operating guidlines...because every plane is specified as being acceptable. Except a Hercules. Beyond sneaky.

Repeated flights are of course just ignored by TDC and Infratil.

As are banned overflights of the towns.

Buchanan will be removing the complaints system next...

John Holyer said...

Anon 10:30 am,

Here you go again. I take your point now clear off, go and play on the Manston runway.

Farnie Barnard said...

Poor old Garbled, you just don't get it do you. The approach to Manston is over Ramsgate and such flights are not banned. They have been flying over the town since before you were even a twinkle in your father's eye.

Please at least check out your facts properly before you go to print, especially if you seriously consider yourself a candidate for mayor and parliament. What a hoot!

Do you know you even make old Rick seem sensible. At least he researches his theories.

John Holyer said...


Your joking, does Tim really imagine himself as mayor and MP? Streuth!

Anonymous said...

oh Tim ..
I see all references to becoming an MP are gone now from your profile.. phew :-)