Kids call council on dog dirt

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Children at a Ripley school sick of trying to avoid dog mess on their way to school – designed posters to remind dog owners to clear up.

The youngsters at Ripley Junior School had to watch their step when going down the jitty at the side of their school because some dog owners do not pick up their dog’s mess.

In the hope of finding a way to combat this issue, children in Year 5 wrote letters to their local councillors informing them of the problem.

The children were invited to the town hall to discuss this with the Mayor of Amber Valley, councillor Angela Ward.

The children were asked to take part in a competition to design a poster which would encourage local residents to be a good dog owner and pick up their dog’s mess.

The three winning designs by Madison Greton, nine, Kate Miller and Lucy Chadwick, both ten, have been reproduced in the form of permanent signs which can now be seen along the jitty at the side of the school.

The winners of the competition were presented with a framed copy of their designs by deputy mayor cllr Mark Robertson on Wednesday March 19 during their school assembly.

Cllr Angela Ward said: “ I am very grateful to the children for designing these signs, which will encourage the minority of dog owners who don’t currently clear up after dogs to be more responsible and think of the effects it has upon the children attending the school.”

Simon Gladwin, assistant director of landscape services at the borough council, said: “The jitty is cleaned on a routine schedule and we respond to any calls we receive if it requires additional cleaning. Dog faeces as well as being unpleasant is a health hazard and can cause blindness in young children””

The council’s community support wardens carry out regular patrols and Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued where fouling offences are witnessed.

The council invites the public to come forward with any information that may help it to catch offenders.