BANNING dogs completely from public playing fields may be the only way to stop problems with fouling, concerned councillors in Upton have said.

Upton Town Council has fought a long-running battle against problems with dog mess, particularly on the town playing fields which are used by children and local sports teams.

But with no end to the problems in sight, former mayor Eric White feels enough is enough and it could be time to ban dogs from the fields off Old Street completely.

He said nearby Stocks Yatt Meadow, next to the main A4104 road at the bottom of Tunnel Hill, could then be made into a dedicated dog walking area.

“I don’t know how much money and how many hours have been spent on this matter over the years,” he said.

“The only solution I think we have got to the problem is to ban dogs completely from the playing fields.”

The council is planning to put up extra signs and request a crackdown on enforcement in a last-ditch attempt to solve the problem.

But councillors are sceptical it will have a real impact when similar attempts in the past have failed to yield lasting results.

“Until it becomes as antisocial as drink-driving or other things, then it will continue to be an issue,” said Coun Sheena Walsh.

Coun John Thompson said: “We have tackled this problem time and time again and short of prohibition I don’t see this problem ever going away no matter how many signs we have.”

The matter has now been placed in the hands of the council’s sport and recreation working group, which will report back with recommendations.

If the situation does not improve, it was suggested the issue could be re-visited at the annual town meeting in May, when the public would be able to have a say on any move to ban dogs from the playing fields.