A DISGUSTED councillor has accused Tendring Council of presiding over a “total failure” to deal with a growing problem of dog fouling.

The council’s dog wardens regularly patrol the seafront across the district and have the power to take enforcement action against people who do not pick up their dog’s waste.

But after a question posed by Dovercourt Tollgate ward councillor Pam Morrison, it was revealed the council has failed to issue any fixed penalty notices this year.

Michael Talbot, councillor responsible for environment, said it is “difficult” to prove someone has committed an offence.

He said: “If the dog warden does not witness the offence taking place and has no supporting evidence, such as CCTV or a mobile phone recording, it is very difficult to prove somebody has committed an offence.

“The area is patrolled on a regular basis and a patrol spreadsheet is kept within the department listing the exact days and times the wardens were in the area. To date there have been 35 visits to this area at different times during the working day.”

Mr Talbot confirmed there are only two dog wardens employed by the council, responsible for patrolling the whole district.

An initiative to issue fixed penalty notices of £50 to offenders was launched in 2015.

He pointed out the wardens have numerous other duties to attend to, including the collection of stray dogs, microchipping and responding to nuisance complaints.

He added: “We will be conducting some patrols outside of normal office hours to show a presence and take action against those who ignore their responsibility to pick up after their dog. We are also working towards replacing the old by-laws regarding dog fouling with a new public space protection order.

“At the point we introduce the new order, councils such as Harwich will be able to issue fixed penalty tickets for dog fouling offences themselves.”

Mrs Morrison said Mr Talbot was simply trying to “palm off” responsibility on to other authorities.

She said: “We blame him for this situation and not the dog wardens, who are being denied the necessary resources to provide the level of service residents are entitled to.”