Inspired by the efforts of four community-minded students at Samuel Ward Academy, the Haverhill Echo will next week be fully launching a campaign to fight the scourge of dog fouling in the town.
Year eight students Casey Gray, Charlotte Lawes, Lisa Lukavsky (all 13) and 12-year-old Georgia Kenyon decided to take action against the inconsiderate behaviour of some dog owners after growing tired of seeing so much dog mess in the town.
They wrote to Cllr Mark Bee, the leader of Suffolk County Council to express their dissatisfaction at the state of affairs - and in the wake of that the Echo has decided to take things further and turn it into a campaign.
The letter said: “We are pupils at Samuel Ward Academy, part of the Haverhill community and we are writing to you to report a problem about dogs’ faeces.
“This problem makes our town look unhygienic and it makes it look like we don’t care about our environment, when we do care.
“To resolve this problem we have come up with a range of useful techniques to avoid this problem.
“For instance having more dog bins and putting up notices to encourage people to clean up the litter that has come from their dogs.
“With the litter bins you could also attach some free disposable dog bags that are put high enough so children can’t reach them, to also encourage people further.
“Another technique is to have the consequence of getting a fine by having a stricter policy.
“You could also employ some waste litter pickers to help avoid our problem.
“Some places where the dog faeces are most commonly found are along the School Lane hill and around St Felix RC Primary School.
“These places are a particular problem because there are many parents and children who need to use this route as a means of commuting to school.
“Please consider our complaint and our suggestions to solve the problem.”
Charlotte explained why they chose to highlight School Lane in particular. She said: “Me and Casey went to school there and my brother still goes there and up that long hill all you still see is dog poo and it’s a nightmare.”
The quartet came up with the idea of writing to Cllr Bee before their classmates then came up with the examples of what can be done to put in the letter.
Charlotte added: “A lot of other people have complained about it as well, like my mum’s friends and their kids as well. They all notice it too.”
Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet member for environment said: “Haverhill should be proud of these young people, who are taking the initiative and doing something about a problem they have recognised in their town.
“I am very pleased to support them. Our officers have followed up their letter and I look forward to reporting the actions we take together.”