TWO district councillors for Wantage are distributing bags for dog waste following a spate of fouling affecting a town primary school.

Charlotte Dickson and Fiona Roper, who are district councillors for Wantage Charlton, are handing out the bags following a flood of complaints during the past three months.

They are keen to improve the situation and have bought the bags from their district councillors’ allowance.

Mrs Dickson, of Newbury Street, who is also town mayor, said: “There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of dog waste in Newbury Street and the surrounding area. People walk their dogs in Manor Road Recreation Ground and some of them are not using the dog bins provided.

“It’s unpleasant for pupils of Wantage Primary School in Manor Road, and for other residents, which is why we are trying to tackle this.

“We are spending about £100 to start with, so that we can leave the sacks at the civic hall and at a number of shops.

Mrs Dickson said she walks her Irish Terrier in the park in Manor Road. “I’m quite neurotic about clearing up after him,” she said. “I make sure I do it, and other dog owners should do the same. We don’t want dog mess to put off visitors from coming to the town.”

Mrs Dickson said she had also lobbied the Vale council’s environmental health department, urging officers to hand out fines to dog owners whose pets foul parks or pavements.

She added: “A fine of £50 could act as a deterrent.”

Mrs Roper, who is one of Mrs Dickson’s neighbours, and is also a dog owner, added: “During the past three months we have had a lot of complaints about this, especially from parents at the primary school, so we decided to take the initiative.

“There’s no excuse for failing to clear up after your dog and hopefully making these bags available will improve the situation. We will see how this works as a trial and then we could extend the scheme.”

The plastic bags can be collected from Wantage Civic Hall, Ledbury’s in Grove Street, and the Dolphin Gallery in Market Place.