PARK users are outraged dog waste bins are being removed and are calling on the council to review its decision.
Many people have written to the Observer, expressing concerns about the potential health risks after we revealed dog walkers would need to use standard rubbish bins for disposing of dog mess in a bid to save the council £35,000.
David Steele, 73, who is not a dog owner but uses Pinner Memorial Park and other parks frequently, said: “I think it is bonkers to get rid of those bins, the litter bins in Pinner are already overflowing.
“People do use the bins and pick up after their dogs and put them in sealed bags. The problem was worse 30 years ago but now we have the bins, people use them.”
Mr Steele, of Rosecroft Walk, Pinner, added: “This has upset me so much and it is the first time in my life I have written to the newspaper.”
A group of angry park users have launched campaign called, ‘Don’t let Labour put the dog poo back into Harrow’. The group has started a petition and is planning protests.
Petitioner Murray Glendowan told the Observer: “In my park, nine dog waste bins are going to get scrapped and dog owners have been told to put the poo bags in the four ordinary rubbish bins that fill up in a weekend. The dog bins are emptied daily; the rubbish bins will be emptied half weekly.
“This is the most stupid idea since stupid ideas were invented and, as users of Harrow parks, we are worried about obvious health issues, the environmental impact in the parks and consequences to young children.”
Councillor Asad Omar, environment and community safety portfolio holder for Independent Labour, has responded by saying the council would look again at the cost involved in keeping the bins.
He told the Observer: “I am waiting for the full figures and then we will make a decision as to how we can modify this scheme.”
The change was included in this year’s Harrow Council budget, but was largely overlooked as it was described vaguely as ‘public realm service reduction’.
Conservative councillors pushed to find out what this meant and discovered the £35,000 saving would be made in reviewing the specialist dog waste collection service.
Conservative leader Susan Hall said: “This cut was hidden away in the budget, and only came to light after we probed for the details behind the figures. It is yet more evidence that Labour had no interest in keeping Harrow clean, green and safe, and they refused to listen to our concerns about the impact these cuts would have on our borough.”
Peter Tucker, a semi-retired accountant, also wrote to the Observer and sent us several photos of overflowing bins in Roxbourne Park, Rayners Lane, where he walks his dog.
He said: “There are obviously health implications and the view I would take is that we do expect better of our council. It has thrown up a bigger problem in terms of the council it is completely and utterly out of touch.”
There are 160 dog waste bins in Harrow. Removal of these began on Monday last week. All are due to be removed by the end of June. In total there are 300 rubbish bins in parks and 900 on streets borough-wide, which dog owners would have to use instead.
To sign the petition email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them your views.
n See Letters for more views and the council’s response.