Dog mess prompts blunt sign in Hastings

Discarded in Plynlimmon Road
Discarded in Plynlimmon Road

The language is crude but the message is clear – West Hill residents are getting fed up with their streets being used as one big litter bin.

Residents say the main offenders are dog-walkers who use plastic bags to pick up their dogs’ mess and then promptly dump it on the first flat surface they encounter.

The sign put up by an anonymous angry resident, two swear words have been pixelated out by the Observer

The sign put up by an anonymous angry resident, two swear words have been pixelated out by the Observer

Now, frustrated householders in Croft Road have posted a brutally blunt sign demanding dog mess and other unpleasant ‘waste items’ are disposed of in litter bins.

The laminated A4 poster is fixed to a lamppost – directly above an official council warning on dog fouling.

It reads: “Would anyone who has plastic bottles full of ****, discarded knickers or carrier bags containing dog **** please dispose of them like responsible adults, rather than leave them on the pavement or in the gutter for others to take care of. Thank you.”

The sign, which has been partially pixelated by the Observer, carries the logo of the Love Where You Live (LWYL) campaign.

A bag left on the side of Vicarage Road

A bag left on the side of Vicarage Road

LWYL is an initiative of the Keep Britain Tidy organisation, designed as an online platform for supporters of the group to contact one another and raise specific issues in their own particular areas.

But it seems the exasperated author of the message may have overstepped the mark with both Keep Britain Tidy and Hastings Borough Council, both of which have said the wording is wholly inappropriate in a street used by families heading to and from two nearby schools.

A spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy said: “This is not a poster that has been produced or approved by us.

“Whilst the Love Where You Live logo is freely available for community groups to use to encourage responsible disposal of litter, the tone and language used in this poster is not something we would advocate.”

A bag of mess in Collier Road

A bag of mess in Collier Road

Hastings Borough Council was marginally more generous but still gave the sign a definite thumbs-down.

Spokesman Kevin Boorman said: “Whilst we agree with the sentiment of the notice, we obviously can’t condone its wording, particularly in an area close to schools and one used by lots of young people.”

Quite who was responsible for posting the sign remains unclear although the frustration expressed has gathered some support from residents angered, in particular, by the seemingly blatant ditching of faeces anywhere but in the rubbish bins provided.

Danni Marczak, a 27-year-old care worker who lives in Priory Road said: “I don’t know about the other things but there certainly is a problem with the bags of dog waste.

“I’m always seeing them in the gutters.”

Mum-of one Amanda Brookes, 44, who lives in St Mary’s Road, said: “I do a lot of jogging and I see these poop-bags chucked anywhere and everywhere – and I’ve really had enough of them.

“The trouble is the mess in the bags doesn’t get decomposed or washed away by the rain.

“Cars run them over, kids squash them with their bikes and then it’s all over the place.

“If it’s all tied up in a bag, what’s the problem with hanging on to it until you find a bin or even taking it home?”

But she wasn’t convinced that the angry notice would have the desired effect.

“I do wonder if a sign like this one is just going to antagonise the people who do it and make things worse,” she said.

“Personally, I think ‘nice’ works better than ‘nasty’.”

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