SHEFFIELD Council and The Star have launched a Love Your City campaign to reduce the amount of litter and dog fouling.
The initiative aims to encourage law-abiding residents to keep a look-out for offenders, while urging the ‘small minority’ of people guilty of environmental crimes to change their ways.
Today we ask, are we doing enough to keep our city tidy?
We want you to tell us what you think in our latest online poll. Make your mind up first by reading our coverage on this issue. See below, including two opposite views.
Then vote and watch the ongoing results in the column on the right.
Simply click on Yes or no.
If you’re a registered site user you can also leave a comment at the bottom of this or our other stories.
Registering is easy and it also means you can comment and tell us what you think at the bottom of many any other stories, here at thestar.co.uk.
We will be featuring regular polls online, with your reaction here and in The Star.
So sign up now, vote and have your say.
EMAIL, TWITTER & FACEBOOK
You can also email, tweet and Facebook us with your views.
Also tell us what do you love about where you live? Where are the littering hotspots?
Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org, with Love Where You Live in the subject box, or tweet us at @SheffieldStar using #lovewhereyoulive, or leave a comment on our Facebook site at facebook.com/sheffieldstar.
* The Star’s campaign comes after the council revealed it has trebled the number of fines issued for littering and dog fouling in a year and increased staff who patrol streets and parks.
Already, 250 fixed penalty notices - which each carry a £75 fine - have been issued this financial year, compared with 77 issued for the whole of 2011-12.
Sheffield Council has put the increase down to staff appointed last year to target what officials call a ‘small minority’ of offenders blighting the streets of the city – and pledged to continue the battle.
In a pilot project, launched with South Yorkshire Police in September, the county’s police community support officers have become the first in the country to collect evidence of the problem.
Efforts to tackle littering were prioritised by Sheffield Council after The Star highlighted parks including Devonshire Green were left covered in beer cans, used disposable barbecues and packaging during warm weather.
ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO KEEP OUR CITY TIDY?
Here’s two different views.
YES, says Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council:
We have taken a tough stance on dog fouling and littering and are doing what we can to raise awareness and reduce the number of incidents in the city.
Catching irresponsible dog owners is a resource-intensive activity, with relatively low levels of detection compared to other types of littering.
We have focused our efforts on raising awareness through ‘No Fouling’ signs on street furniture and footpaths as well as letter drops in problem areas to encourage dog owners to take responsibility and clean up after their pets.
In July 2012 we employed two temporary members of staff on a part time basis. until the end of October, to tackle littering and dog fouling in parks and other locations.
The council is making huge improvements in tackling littering and dog fouling. We have taken on more staff which has allowed us to enforce our policy and help keep the city tidy. A tougher approach definitely seems to be working.
Despite Government cuts, we are determined to keep Sheffield’s streets and parks free from litter and dog fouling. We hope that through engaging with dog walkers and issuing fines to people who break the law it will encourage people to help keep our city clean.
NO, says Bridget Ingle, community activist:
In my view there is always more that can be done by everyone, but not just the council.
In 2010-11, Sheffield Council spent £6.2million cleaning up litter and dog fouling. Everyone should be outraged at the amount of money which is spent on trying to keep our streets clean, when valued services are being cut and our libraries closed.
I work closely with the environmental officers and understand what an uphill struggle they have. They have to play private detective to get the information they need to prosecute for an environmental offence.
This takes up time and resources which cost a lot of money. Dog fouling is a problem because of the toxocariasis infection which can be picked up from soil contaminated by dog faeces. It is very harmful to children and can cause blindness.
Most dog owners are responsible but a minority who aren’t give everyone a bad name.