South Hams District Council (SHDC) has admitted feeling the strain of having to enforce litter, dog fouling and fly tipping rules.

The local authority conceded that enforcing individual offences relating to littering, dog fouling and fly tipping “have proven to be notoriously difficult”.

In a statement, SHDC acknowledged that the mess was “frustrating for residents”, but as part of the council’s “renewed focus” to provide better services, it would use Community Protection Notices more widely for persistent offences, explaining that this was an additional tool for the council in the fight against littering and dog fouling.

“The changes are just part of several changes being made by the Council to improve its community services across the district, to make sure that our communities ‘look and feel’ the absolute best they can,” the council said.

The statement added that SHDC would work with community and voluntary groups as well as parish and town councils “to keep the South Hams looking and feeling as tidy as possible”.

Cllr Victor Abbott, Lead Member for Community Services, said: “We know that issues like littering and dog fouling have an impact on people’s day to day lives. We want to do more to make the South Hams look its very best. I believe our staff and these changes will make this happen.

“It’ll lead us to using our resources more efficiently, serving the people of the South Hams more effectively, and within our current budgets.”