Calling foul on dog warden cuts

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A KIRKCALDY MSP has voiced concerns at moves to cut the number of Fife dog wardens.

Marilyn Livingstone has urged Fife Council to re-think reducing the number from five to four as there already aren’t enough dog wardens to go around the Kingdom.

The Labour MSP has backed plans by fellow member Helen Eadie to write to Council chief executive Ronnie Hinds to ask him to re-consider the move.

She said: “Dog fouling is an issue that concerns a lot of people. I have been a dog owner and have seen how it can just take a minority of irresponsible dog owners to spoil an area.

“In the summer Ravenscraig Park can be bad for dog fouling and it’s a major health and safety risk for children who play there.

“I find it really surprising the Council only has four dog wardens to cover the whole of Fife and I am urging it to take this matter seriously.

Wide area

“Four dog wardens cannot be everywhere at once, we need more to cover such a wide area. I am asking the Council to reconsider this.”

Fellow MSP Helen Eadie said: “The Scottish Parliament recently voted through tough new powers to allow local authorities to tackle irresponsible dog owners.

“Yet these powers can only be utilised if there are enough dog wardens patrolling the streets.

“I know the dog wardens in Fife are working flat out to serve their communities, but having only four to cover the whole of the Kingdom, especially when they have new responsibilities because of the powers I voted through, beggars belief.”

Councillor Ross Vettraino, vice chairman on the Council’s environment, enterprise and transportation committee, said: “The Council has had to find smarter ways of working and it is the same story across local government.

“We have to find smarter ways of working to cover cuts in budget, brought about by the last Labour Government.

“We are finding we can provide the same level of service with the same resources by working more efficiently.”

He added: “This is happening everywhere not just in Fife - we have to find more effective ways of doing things.”