Scenic: Ide Hill
A tiny council's plan to combat the problem of dog mess in public spaces has sparked accusations of creeping 'big brother' tactics.
Sundridge with Ide Hill Parish Council wants to use cutting edge technology to run DNA tests on dog dirt lying in the sleepy town.
If the tests matched the faeces to a specific dog, the owner could face legal action, as British dog owners are required by law to clean up their animals' mess.
The scheme, which is unprecedented in the UK, proved popular at a recent meeting of the council, whose seven members agreed the problem is now so bad that drastic action is required.
However the scheme met opposition locally from residents. One woman, Anna West, said: "It just seems bizarre to me. It's big brother gone mad, really."
Furthermore, the councillors would have to pay for the dog mess analysis themselves, not Sevenoaks DIstrict Council - where the villages of Sundridge and Ide Hill are located - or the top tier authority, Kent County Council.
DNA tests by other government agencies cost up to £252 each.
To contact the editor, e-mail: