Private firms should be brought in by a council to cut down on littering and dog fouling, according to an MP.

Hove MP Mike Weatherley said a new approach was needed in the wake of an increase in complaints made to him about the state of his constituency’s pavements.

He said that more and more residents were complaining about the “appalling” state of streets in Hove littered with dog mess and waste.

Mr Weatherley said that using private firms to enforce on-the-spot fines would be a deterrent, would raise much needed revenue and had been brought in by other councils.

In a letter to Penny Thompson, chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, Mr Weatherley, wrote: “I appreciate that catching owners in the act is difficult, yet a new approach is clearly required.

“Similarly, when it comes to littering, I know that a number of local authorities have contracted private firms to enforce an on-the-spot fine policy. This is an obvious deterrent and excellent way of raising revenue. Only those who offend will face a fine.”

However, Labour councillor for North Portslade Bob Carden said he did not want to see private companies enforcing dog fouling and litter by-laws.

He said: “If you have private companies they will have to make it pay and they will be waiting behind lampposts and trees waiting for any dog owner.”

Cllr Carden conceded that there was a problem with litter and dog fouling but said that educating owners or even using PCSOs to issue fines would be more appropriate.

Green Councillor Ollie Sykes, deputy chair of the council’s environment and sustainability committee, said: “Complaints of dog fouling are taken by the animal welfare team and they work hard to investigate and tackle the problem. Our street cleaners work incredibly hard to maintain the appearance of the city and are out seven days a week.”

Cllr Sykes added that the council had recently won two awards and in a recent survey nearly three quarters of residents agreed that the council was good at keeping their street clean.

Talking point: What should be done to tackle issues of littering and dog mess around Brighton and Hove? Share your views by commenting below or write in to the Argus letters pagesl

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