The number of turds on the prom yesterday inspired this observer to request the following information from Highland Council under the Freedom of Information Act.
"What is the total yearly cost to the Highland Council of employing Dog Wardens, including employer’s NI and pension contributions, equipment, vehicles, stationery etc?
What was the total income from fines imposed by the Dog Wardens on offenders in the last financial year?
What is the total number of fines imposed by Dog Wardens in the Nairn area (Highland Council’s ward 19) over the past five years?"
Some Gurnites may already have made their minds up about the value of the Local Authority's service when it comes to hounding those irresponsible owners who don't pick up their pets' turds. However, answers to the following questions will be very useful in forming definite opinion on how seriously the Highland Council takes this matter in Nairn and if their Dog Warden service is value for money.
Just along the coast in Morayshire a full-scale anti-jobbie campaign is underway. This week's Northern Scot has a full-page article quoting residents who have had enough of people that won't pick up their pets turds. There is talk there of dog wardens using CCTV but again a fine of £40 is all that offenders will get. There is also a call for offenders to be "Named and Shamed", something which doesn't happen under current legislation.