RESIDENTS in Innerleithen are kicking up a stink about irresponsible dog and horse owners failing to clean up after their animals.

Despite the efforts of the town’s Community Council actively trying to tackle the foul issues that blight the town’s streets and pavements, it seems dog owners still aren’t getting the message.

A couple who reside in Waverly Mills came along to the open forum of the Community Council this week, and told members that people are using the place as a “dog toilet”.

The homeowner said: “There are some mornings that dog’s mess is left right outside people’s paths and it is just disgusting. At the back of us there is a strip of grass which is used as a dog’s toilet. If they hear us coming out the back they just run and take off with their dogs. Its everywhere you go.”

The Community Council launched an initiative some months ago and has secured funding to buy new bins and bag dispensers.

Jackie Couchman is one of the people driving the campaign to keep the streets and paths in the town clean.

She said: “I don’t think it’s everywhere with respect, because we’ve put bottled on lamp posts with poo bags for people that have forgotten or people who may be publically spirited and pick up.

“My perception is that the problem has improved but it may still be happening in areas that I don’t walk very often.

“My view is the cleaner the pavements the less likely that someone is to leave it. I don’t have a dog, but I do pick up because I’m thinking about the little old lady, or the mum with a buggy that’s going to walk through it.

“Each and every one of us is taking a pride in our environment and picking up that odd bit of litter and dog poo for the benefit of us all rather than walking on by.”

Tweeddale Councillor Shona Haslam suggested using the ‘no fouling’ pavement stencils within the development to deter the culprits.

Chairman Marshall Douglas said: “I think when the new bins with the dispensers are put in place the profile of that will improve things and it’ll stand out more. There’s absolutely no excuse whatsoever.”

The issue is going to be raised with the Community Action Team by Tweeddale Councillor Robin Tatler who encouraged residents to report the issues by calling 101.

But this prompted one resident to question the presence of these officers in the town.

He said: “Have we seen them in Innerleithen? Never. We never see police officers in uniform in the town unless they are in a vehicle.”

Councillor Tatler said he would report back on the activities the Community Action Team has attended in the town.

But dog owners weren’t the only people being dubbed irresponsible.

Residents have asked that a letter is sent out to local stables following complaints of steaming piles of manure blocking pathways.

A local resident explained: “There are increasing piles of horse muck being left so is it’s maybe about time that horse owners are reminded of their responsibilities to try clear up after their animals. The backs are particularly bad at the top of Horsburgh Terrace over the Cuddy Bridge.

“The culprits are young girls that you obviously can’t approach. The guidelines of the British Horse Society are quite clear about what their responsibilities are.”

Community Councillor Jim Calder walks daily over the hills and says he clears a “tremendous” amount of horse muck from paths. “It takes no time at all to just kick it to the side. I’d rather do that than leave it. You’ll never stop them.

“I did ask one rider if she would dismount and kick it to the side but she just trotted on and said, ‘It’s good for the roses’!”