MSP for the Cowdenbeath Constituency Alex Rowley has spoken out in the Scottish Parliament about the negative impact litter and dog fouling can have on local communities and has called for a review of the Scottish Governments national strategy which he said ‘does not seem to be working’.
Speaking in a Parliamentary debate Mr Rowley said; “Whilst the majority of people are responsible, clean up at the back of their dog and do not drop litter it is still a major problem. A housing estate being full of litter and dog fouling impacts on the environment where people live and can also impact on the health and wellbeing of residents”.
The Labour politician said that education is important and more can be done from school age upwards but he also said there needed to be tough penalties for those who do litter and leave dog mess lying on the streets and parks. He also highlighted Germany as an example where this kind of behaviour is ‘simply not tolerated’
Scottish Government Minister Richard Lochhed responded that the national strategy had only been in place for 18 months and said; “18 months is not a long time to properly evaluate the success or otherwise of the strategy, given that the issue is about culture change in Scotland”.
Mr Lochhed also said that the Scottish Government had committed more than £575,000 towards keep Scotland Beautiful’ s clean up Scotland campaign from 2013 to 2016.
Speaking after the debate Alex Rowley said; “I know that there are a lot of big issues we deal with and big challenges facing Scotland but I did street surgeries throughout the constituency during the summer and the issue of litre and dog fouling came up time and again. I wanted to highlight this in Scotland’s Parliament and make the point that it is not acceptable and whilst I support education and culture change I also want tougher action on those who don’t clean up their dogs mess and litter out streets and parks. This kind of behaviour and action would not be tolerated in most of Europe and we need to learn from that”.