COUNCIL officers should be able to issue on the spot fines for dog fouling, pet owners have said.

It comes after a recent public consultation by Swindon Borough Council in which they sought people’s views on the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to give the council new powers to tackle dog fouling.

The consultation period ended on Monday and council officers will now consider the public response.

John Mountford, 63, of North Swindon, was walking his six-year-old Labrador Suzie around Faringdon Park on Tuesday evening.

“I think this is a really good idea,” he said.

“People who leave dog mess on the roads and in the parks give the rest of us a bad name. I admire the council for trying to stamp it out and I hope it sends a real message to those who think they can make a mess of our roads.”

The consultation, which ran from June 19 to September 18, was seeking residents’ views on the PSPO which, if approved, would enable council officers and other partner agencies to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to people who let their dogs foul and then fail to clear up after their pets.

Currently, the council has to gather significant evidence to prosecute dog owners through the courts, which takes up lengthy and disproportionate officer time and expense.

A similar scheme was introduced at Lydiard Park last summer in an effort to reduce dog-related complaints.

Councillor Cathy Martyn, cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “We received a total of 756 consultation responses and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to feed in their views.

“We will now study the comments in detail before deciding if a PSPO would be appropriate in dealing with the issue of dog fouling. We expect to make an announcement in the coming weeks.”

Dog owner Jane Gooding, 34, from Nythe, also thought the proposals a good idea.

She said: “Something needs to be done to tackle dog fouling. You see it all the time, it’s a right mess.

“Some of us actually take the time to clean up after their animals, but others just couldn’t care less - and that’s not fair.

“I welcome any move to try to make people clean up their animal’s mess.”

One man, Peter Leech, 55, from Old Town, supported the proposals but thought the council should install more dog waste bins.

“If people actually had somewhere to put the mess, then that would be a good start,” he said.