‘Disgusting’ dog poo tree problem in Offington ward

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A NEIGHBOURHOOD group wants to raise awareness of a growing problem – the practice of hanging bags of dog mess from Worthing trees.

At Offington ward’s most recent neighbourhood panel meeting, the group said it was “disgusted” to see an increase in the numbers of bags being hung from trees along dog-walking routes.

Tony Downs, chairman of the panel, which meets every six weeks with Offington’s councillor and PCSO, said: “Hanging dog mess in bags from trees is even worse than not picking up after dogs – it is disgusting.”

The group said trees at beauty spots such as the area near Shepherds Mead, Coombe Rise and The Gallops, in Findon Valley, were increasingly being adorned with dog mess in bags.

Mr Downs said: “Why do people go to the trouble of picking the mess up and putting it in a bag, if they are just going to suspend it from a tree? They may as well not bother to pick it up. It is a public health hazard.”

The group discussed the location of dog bins, and said a new one in Central Avenue was being used well, but acknowledged the area probably already had its full allocation of bins.

The chairman said he had reported the issue to the council’s dog warden, Russ Akehurst.

Mr Akehurst told the Herald the problem was borough-wide.

He said: “It happens all over the borough, along many dog-walking areas. It’s not a case of dog fouling because the mess has actually been picked up, it has become a littering problem, the same as if someone suspended a crisp packet. It’s very difficult to catch people doing it.”

The dog warden said the area around The Miller’s Tomb on Highdown Hill has a prolific dog mess problem.

He added: “After a dog bin was moved because the man who emptied the bin tripped, people started just depositing filled dog poo bags in the bin’s place, even though there are bins in the car park, not far away. People just can’t be bothered.”

The Offington panel also discussed its desire to reduce the speed limit along the A24 through Findon Valley to 30mph. They have been carrying out regular speed patrols and, during their most recent inspection, found 37 out of 539 cars travelling above the 40mph speed limit.

The panel also discussed the need for a cycle lane from the A24 Offington roundabout along Warren Road to the new site for Worthing College in Hill Barn Lane.

It was decided to refer the concern for student safety to Offington councillor Elizabeth Sparkes, for her to liaise with West Sussex county councillor Clem Stevens.

The panel will meet again in June.