THIS country is renowned for its dog lovers.

Despite this we are at present faced with a consultation period.

This concerns the introduction of powers to approach a dog owner to prove that he or she possesses appropriate equipment for picking up their dog’s “poo”.

It’s sad when even a rugger match has to be halted while dog mess is removed from the pitch.

Why are people so detached from their responsibilities?

Having got that off my chest I couldn’t believe the latest report from MHDC. This concerns the fact that one of our Street Scene team recently caught two women drivers tossing their cigarette butts out of the window in separate incidents.

They were both issued with £75 Penalty Charge Notices. These were reduced to £50 as both accepted they had broken the law and made an early payment.

Maybe some people will think this a little “over the top” but when you read the statistics it does make sense.

Cigarette ends, sweet wrappers and matchsticks are the most common items in litter.

An estimated 122 tonnes of this litter is dropped every day across the UK. Not only does this fall in-between cracks in pavements and gather in gutters and drains making them difficult to clean but most of this material is not biodegradable posing a significant environmental issue.

Drive into any big city and the approaches are invariably covered with litter thrown out of cars.

The Midlands, I’m afraid, is no exception!

It really is time to take strong action against offenders and punish those who spoil the appearance of what is one of the most beautiful parts of the country here in the Teme Valley.