Irresponsible dog owners will be forced to clean up their act once staff at Calne Town Council are trained to issue £75 fines for dog fouling.

Town councillors have agreed to put £1,800 aside for the training after complaints from residents about the state of Calne’s streets and parks.

The training, which could take place next month, will be open to employees at the town council including its groundsmen.

At the moment Wiltshire Council employs two dog wardens to police the entire county, and these are often busy collecting stray dogs and dealing with complaints.

But anyone who has attended and passed an accredited scheme is able to issue fines for dog fouling and the training could see five to six new officers in the town.

Town clerk Linda Roberts said the new officers could be used to tackle problem areas in the town like Castlefields, Newbury Avenue and The Recreation Ground.

She said: “It’s probably one of the biggest complaints we have. Apart from not being very pleasant it’s also a health issue.

“I just hope that if we get the message out, that the town council has the authority to issue fines, that might make people think.

“It’s not about getting income for the fines. It’s about it being a deterrent so that people will see a groundsman and think ‘oh, if I’m doing this, the chances are I could get fined’.

“It’s about improving the problem, by letting people know there are more people out there, and the chances of getting caught in Calne are going to be much higher.”

Any money collected from fines will be used to improve the town centre, such as paying for the flower displays.

The decision has delighted town councillor David Conway, who is chair of the youth team at Calne RFC .

He has complained about mess at the recreation ground and has to walk the pitch to check for dog poo before a match begins.

He said: “There is still a problem at the moment and it’s not going to go away until something is done. It’s a really exciting development.

“Everyone in Calne will be grateful that the town council is doing something.”

He added that the news was the best thing in ages and had made him happy.