Council beefs up powers to tackle dog fouling and anti-social owners

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Cheshire East Council is beefing up its powers to crack down on dog fouling and dog control.

It follows public support for tougher controls put forward by the council during its recent borough-wide consultation.

The four-week public consultation, which ended on October 10th, was held to seek residents' views around the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) specifically to tackle dog fouling and dog control across Cheshire East.

The authority received more than 1,400 responses and more than 90 per cent of respondents backed the creation of a PSPO to cover all public places and fines for owners who fail to clean up after their dog.

The PSPO came into effect from today, November 1st, and will enable the council to more-effectively combat dog fouling and introduce certain dog control requirements.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communication, said: "This consultation got a tremendous response from the public and, as we are a listening authority, we have responded to what they told us.

"It became apparent, from very early on in the process, that our proposals really struck a chord – and residents overwhelmingly supported plans to beef up enforcement and promote responsible dog ownership.

"It is clear from the responses that this is an important issue for residents and the council wanted to give the whole community the opportunity to have their say in shaping policies that help make Cheshire East such an attractive place to live, work, build a business and visit."

The main features of the PSPO allow the council to:

● Tackle those that fail to pick up after their dog in all public places within Cheshire East borough;
● Allow authorised officers to tell a dog owner/walker to put and keep their dog on a lead if necessary, for example, if their dog was showing aggressive behaviour; and
● Issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100. A failure to pay the FPN may lead to prosecution and a potential maximum fine of £1,000, as would more serious breaches of the PSPO.

Cheshire East Council has a statutory duty to keep land clear of litter and refuse (including dog fouling) and a duty of care for dealing with waste.

The authority also has a duty to take action against irresponsible individuals who fail to clear up after their dogs on land which is open to the public. Not only is dog mess highly unpleasant, it is also a hazard to health – particularly to young children. Roundworm eggs found in dog mess (toxocara canis) can easily be picked up by children. This causes stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and, in some cases, blindness.

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Cheshire East Council
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

John Harries
Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 6:10 pm
I'm a responsible dog owner and I fully support the idea of keeping our footpaths, parks and open spaces clear of dog fouling (and littering, fly tipping etc. etc.) but none of it is exactly quantum physics - and CEC needed a consultation process to come to these momentus conclusions.
They may have tinkered with the rules and whatever powers are available to them but exactly who are 'authorised officers' and how many of them are there to dish out the obvious conveyor belt of FPN's and perish the thought, £1000 max. fines (NB photographic evidence would be required to take any miscreant to court let alone have any chance of pulling in £1K)
Last time I checked there hadn't been a single soul (or dog for that matter) taken to court in the whole of CEC's and it's forerunner organisations' tenure.
After all the navel contemplations, I wait to be amazed at this outright fantastic new initative by our ever resourceful council.....and, how many 'authorised officers' are there in the whole of CEC, where are they based and what else does their job description include other than pursuing errant dog walkers!!!
Jon Williams
Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 8:13 pm
Nothing wrong with the law as it stands, it's just another money making scheme:

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The purpose of the Act was to create a criminal offence if a dog defecates at any time on
designated land and a person who is in charge of the dog at that time fails to remove the faeces from the land forthwith.

It was repealed by Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 section 65, and replaced by similar legislation in the same act. The Act applied only in England and Wales. It was not regulated in Scotland until the passing of the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.

Some exemptions are in place for land beside a major road, agricultural land or forestry. Local authorities were to be responsible for policing the Act, and are able to appoint officers to enforce the regulations. Conviction would lead to a fine.

Ex Dog Warden
Mark Russell
Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 6:43 pm
Instead of messing about with things that don’t need fixing, why don’t they divert the money into sorting our disgraceful roads out. Wilmslow is a car park, but at least there will be no dog poo. Talk about picking the wrong fight.
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 3rd November 2017 at 9:36 am
Cabinet Member for Finance and Communication says it all. Not a department I would think of first to be in control of what is a public health matter.
Estelle Lewis
Friday 3rd November 2017 at 7:15 pm
The responsible dog owners don't need to be told to pick up poop - we do this as a matter of course.

The irresponsible will remain the same as ever unless there is a camera on every square inch of turf!

It's VERY annoying - I've picked up after a dog that has pooped when it's owner has been yards in front, totally oblivious.

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