FURIOUS parents have called on a council to get its act together and clear the “disgraceful” amounts of dog waste left in playing fields.

Dad Chris Simmonds, of Dorset Road, Maldon, was out with his eight-year-old son having a kickabout in Plantation Field in Heybridge, when after a few minutes of kicking a football around his son and friend were splattered with dog mess after the ball went through several piles left behind.

He said: “I don’t understand what kind of excuse councillors must have for this, there were at least five piles just left by the goal post area.

“They say they have people who attend the area and are tough with their fines, but in my many years living here I have never heard of a fine being given out.”

Those caught failing to clear up after their dog in Maldon receive a fixed penalty of £80, and can be fined a maximum of £1,000 if referred to court.

Chris, 37, added: “The football team that pay to use that pitch at weekends have to clear the pitch before they can use it and normally get a bucket full of the stuff.

“It’s only a matter of time before the team refuse to pay because the pitch is in such poor condition.

“Players sliding around on that mess would get covered in the stuff.

My son’s friend was after two kicks of a ball. My boy should be able to play on his local field without the fear of getting ill or a disease from the dog mess that’s been left on there.

Chris’ mum-in-law Lesley Biggs, of Stock Chase next to the field, said: “It doesn’t matter what day you go down there, or what time, or what part of the field, there is mess everywhere and that hasn’t changed in months.”

Richard Holmes, director for community services at Maldon District Council, said: “Our thanks go to the majority of responsible dog owners who act appropriately when exercising or walking with their dogs. It is always disappointing when a small minority of owners do not take responsibility for their dog.

“The Council’s Community Protection Officers work in partnership with Heybridge Parish Council and Park Watch members to patrol this area and combat such anti-social behaviour through education and enforcement.

“The Council will take action against irresponsible dog owners using the law and has issued a number of fixed penalty notices to dog owners at the Plantation Playing field in Heybridge.”

To report dog fouling, visit: http://bit.ly/2pxMxS5