Reservoir dog owners foul town beauty spot

Despite the removal of the dog mess bin at Toddbrook Reservoir dog owners have continued to drop waste there.
Despite the removal of the dog mess bin at Toddbrook Reservoir dog owners have continued to drop waste there.

COUNCIL chiefs are appealing for Whaley Bridge dog walkers to show ‘common sense’ after a row over a dog waste bin left a local beauty spot a mess.

Residents have been kicking up a stink in recent weeks over the unemptied bin at Toddbrook Reservoir, just off Reservoir Road, which had been left to overflow with bags of dog faeces, which were subsequently being deposited on nearby grass.

The complaints prompted High Peak Borough Council to take the unusual step of removing the bin off British Waterways’ land, but this has failed to solve the problem, with bags of rubbish and dog waste continuing to blight the beauty spot.

High Peak Borough Council said any past arrangements with them for emptying the bin on behalf of the landowner were “lost in the mists of time”, together with the circumstances under which the bin had originally been installed.

“It is British Waterways’ responsibility to keep their land clear and tidy,” a council spokesperson said. “This bin has not been on our list to empty for many years, but we did empty it from time to time when we were in the vicinity.

“We have returned the bin back to British Waterways and offered them a quote for the annual cost of emptying the bin under contract. Ultimately, if British Waterways do not accept our quote and do not make any alternative arrangements to empty the bin or keep their land in a litter-free condition and clear of dog waste, then we have the power to take enforcement action.

“We are appealing for dog walkers to show common sense and not leave dog waste in an area where there is no bin, and to either put it in the nearest suitable bin, or take it home and dispose of it in their general waste,” the spokesperson said, adding that anyone caught failing to clean up after their dog risked an £80 fine.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of Whaley Bridge Town Council last Thursday, when councillor Ron Bowdon questioned why dog waste had been allowed to accumulate at the site as it was a serious danger to public health.

Council chairman Jon Goldfinch said the majority of dog walkers disposed of dog waste responsibly, but added: “It all comes down to people keeping their own environment clean and tidy.”

David Baldacchino, waterway manager, Manchester & Pennine Waterways, said: “We have been discussing the situation regarding the dog waste bin at Toddbrook Reservoir with High Peak Borough Council. We have now come to an agreement and we expect the bin to be reinstated shortly.

“It is disappointing that people have carried on leaving waste at the site when there is alternative disposal facilities close by.

“If the bin is full in the future, we would urge people to use the alternatives or take their waste home.”