Has Shotton got the dirtiest street in Wales? 21 ‘loads’ of dog dirt in a 4 minute walk.
Following the article published by Deeside.com last week, ‘How clean are our streets‘ , a resident contacted us about the amount of dog fouling that happens on Clwyd Street, so we went and had a look, and took the camera.
One thing you do notice when you walk along Clwyd Street is that the land that lies between the pavement and the front doors of houses is well looked after. The gardens, hedges, fences, plants, paintwork, its all very tidy, there are no old sofas or beds in the front garden on Clwyd Street, unlike some of the houses on adjoining streets. It’s fair to say people care on this street.
However, walk the 236.32 metres (yes we measured it) from the junction with Central Drive down towards Chevrons Road, and you may have to do more cheeky little side steps and pivots than Susanna Reid doing the Tango on Strictly.
Why? Because you will have walked down quite possibly the dirtiest road in Wales.
It was almost impossible to walk in a straight line along the pavement when we took photographs for fear of treading in dog dirt, 21 different locations were recorded on Tuesday 15th October, all within a 4 minute walk.
Of course many people do unwittingly tread in the dog faeces along this particular bit of pavement. It’s a busy route, with a high school at one end a primary school, nursing homes and a hospital at the other, with busy shops in between, it’s a very well used road.
You’re not only going to make a mess of your shoes and clothes when you step in dog muck, eggs found in it can carry toxocariasis which if passed to humans can cause all sorts of health problems, including blindness.
Dog walkers are of course responsible for cleaning up after their pets and it is a punishable offence if they don’t,
One resident, who we won`t name said:
“You don`t often see stray dogs knocking about on the street, its fair to say most of the dog dirt is just not being picked up by people walking their dogs”
Local authorities also have a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to keep highways and public land clear of dog faeces, so what is going wrong on Clwyd Street?
When Flintshire County Council launched ‘Operation Clean Up’ last April, they stated:
‘There is a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling within Flintshire and enforcement staff from the Council have been undertaking enforcement patrols across the County, spending time patrolling different towns and villages, with culprits caught being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £75, Ongoing enforcement patrols will continue to be undertaken in all towns, villages and other areas across the county.’
As previously reported Flintshire has the second worst streets in the whole of Wales when it comes to cleanliness, and the trend is unfortunately a downward one, with the council budget about to slashed what hope do we have that streets will get cleaner?
Referring to ‘operation clean up’ Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Waste and Recycling, said:
“This is an ongoing campaign and I am pleased that officers are finding that so many dog walkers are being responsible and carrying dog fouling bags with them. However, there still remains the irresponsible minority who fail to pick up their litter, or to clean up after their dog. In adopting this more strengthened targeted approach to enforcement I believe that we are sending out the strongest possible message that dog fouling, littering, fly tipping and graffiti is anti-social and will not be tolerated.”
Curiously an article in Wednesdays Daily Post ‘North Wales dog mess hotspots revealed‘ Flintshire County Council stated that Connah`s Quay ‘was overall the worst area for the problem(dog fouling).’
We would certainly challenge that statement based on what we have seen recently in Shotton, however when it comes to street cleanliness, its fair to say Shotton really does appear to be very low down the priority list for the council.
The charity Carnegie Trust UK state:
‘Dog fouling affects 39% of people in the most deprived neighbourhoods, compared with 15% in the most affluent areas, 44% of people in our most deprived neighbourhoods encounter problems with litter and rubbish lying around, compared with 17% in the most affluent areas’
Shotton is classed as a multiple deprivation area and sits high on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation
The Carnegie Trust add:
‘Deprived urban communities are clearly disproportionately affected by local environmental problems such as dog fouling, the current pressures on public finances have naturally resulted in greater competition for resources, in these circumstances there is a danger of deprived areas losing out to more affluent areas with sharp elbows.’
So is Shotton and Clwyd Street losing out to these ‘sharp elbows’ the Carnegie Trust allude to? we will endeavour to find out.
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