Soccer games called to halt as dog mess stops play
FOUL play of the canine kind is halting football matches in Skewen Park.
Games have to be stopped while park staff are called to scrape up dog mess from the pitch.
Now workers have become so browned- off they have written to their bosses raising concerns about the risk to health.
Fouling aside, there have been complaints of dogs being let off leads, terrifying people in the park by bounding towards them and sometimes leaping up onto them.
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Coedffranc Community Council is looking at the possibility of a designated area where people could allow their dogs off-lead without interfering with anyone else.
But this has not gone down well with some councillors who feel the only way of controlling the problem is by having a strict rule that dogs must be on leads at all times.
Vice-chairman Annette Wingrave said she was not anti-dogs and had dogs of her own, but made sure they were under control.
However, she said, some people were letting their dogs off the lead and they were running off out of sight and fouling. As the owners did not see this happening the mess was not picked up.
"One member of staff complained that on a Saturday he is constantly being called over to the football field to pick up dog mess," said Mrs Wingrave.
"They're stopping matches to come and get him. Nobody wants to slide on that, and certainly not children."
Chairman Bob Richards said he had been involved in two "disturbing" incidents. One was when he had taken his four-year-old grandchild to the park and a dog running free bounded towards the child.
On another occasion, he said, there were half a dozen dogs running wild, once of which jumped up on him.
Councillors heard of incidents where a dog ran towards an elderly lady who was sitting reading on a bench. Although the dog was being playful, the woman was terrified of dogs and was upset by it.
Staff were so fed up with cleaning up the dog mess that they have written to the council, raising their concerns about the health issues especially involving children.
Mrs Wingrave suggested having a designated area where dogs could be let off their leads, with owners required to keep them leashed in all other areas.
This is being investigated even if the idea did not find favour with all councillors.
"Dogs should not be left off leads in our parks," said one, Harry Bebell. "If we allow it and a dog bites a child or knocks it over and injures it, we will be responsible."