Kensal Green vicar hits out at the unholy dog mess left on church lawn

Father David Ackerman at St John The Evangelist, Kensal Green Pic credit: Polly Hancock

Father David Ackerman at St John The Evangelist, Kensal Green Pic credit: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A vicar in Kensal Green has hit out at dog owners who allow their dogs to leave an unholy mess on his church lawn.

Father David Ackerman, vicar of the Parish Church of St John The Evangelist in Kilburn Lane, said few people appreciate that the ward’s name comes from the lawns surrounding the church and local people like to come there do not want to stand on dog mess.

He said: “It is disgusting. Many people, including children, enjoy the church grounds and in recent weeks the problem has got worse. This is a very recent problem and adds to the major problem we have of people throwing litter over the railings.

“We spend a great deal of time and money making the grounds attractive, and many people appreciate this but clearly some do not.

“We are proud of the work we have done in recent years to transform the grounds and because it is a constant battle with litter, dog mess really is the final straw”.

He praised the Queen’s Park councillors at Westminster Council who he said have asked their officers to help.

Fr Ackerman added: “This is not a problem confined to here, but it is a problem that can be solved if we all do our bit to help keep mess and litter of the streets.”

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A spokesman for Westminster Council said: “St John’s Church is private property, so responsibility for cleaning the church gardens doesn’t fall with the council in this instance.

“However, we do not tolerate any dog owner who does not clear up after their pets, which is why we have a Dog Control Order (DCO) in key areas covering Queen’s Park and St John’s Church itself.

The order carries a fixed penalty notice of £80, or a fine of up to £1000 upon prosecution.

“The council’s policy is also to enforce dogs being kept on leads across Westminster (except when inside designated dog run areas) with enforcement patrols by local city inspectors and animal wardens across the ward several times a week.

“We have now installed signage around the church, are engaging with Father David Ackerman directly, and will monitor the location as part of their regular patrols.”

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