Have your say on extending laws to tighten the leash on dogs in town park


Cheshire East Council is asking residents if they want to see some special orders, including the control of dogs and dog fouling in The Carrs extended for a further three years.

A number of orders – known as public space protection orders (PSPOs) – were introduced across the borough to tackle anti-social behaviour, criminal activity and dog fouling and the council is now seeking to extend them for a further three years.

The council is seeking to extend the borough-wide PSPO, introduced in November 2017, that applies to dog fouling and dog control, making it an offence punishable by an on-the-spot penalty if an owner fails to clean up after their dog.

A further separate order relates to The Carrs where there has been a specific problem with dogs and dog fouling. A bespoke order has been in place within the park since 2012 to control dogs off leads and to limit the number of dogs per owner.

The council must review the orders after a three-year period and a number of current PSPOs are due to expire in October this year. The council wishes to continue the orders but residents have the opportunity to voice their views now.

The order makes it an offence for a person in charge of a dog, without reasonable excuse, to fail to pick up after the dog and for one person to be in charge of more than four dogs in The Carrs.

It is also an offence for dogs not to be kept on leads in specific areas of the park, such as north of the River Bollin, which includes both the playing fields and children's play area.

Additionally, it is an offence for a dog owner not to put and keep a dog on a lead when told to do so by an authorised officer of the Council. This area would cover the whole of the park, with the exception of the area covered by the Dogs on Leads order.

Councillor Judy Snowball, vice chair of Cheshire East Council's environment and communities committee said: "As with any consultation relating to PSPOs, I especially urge residents, members of the public and businesses in the communities that these current orders address, to come forward with their comments.

"It is important that, where necessary, these orders are reviewed to ensure that we are taking all possible routes to address behaviours that may distress or alarm the public."

To have your say on these consultations, please click here.

The consultations are available for comments now and will remain open until midday on Wednesday 6 September.



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

Jonathan Follows
Tuesday 8th August 2023 at 10:52 am
Other than making various people feel good about being seen to "do something", what effect of these PSPOs can be quantified? Is there less dog fouling and better dog control as a result of their introduction? I personally want to know the facts before indicating my agreement to renew these orders, because in general I feel that they're irrelevant and don't achieve anything, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong. Does anyone know any facts?
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 12:47 am
# Jonathan

A freedom of information request to CEC would be the means of quantifying how many "fines” have been issued. I will make one, but I doubt that the information will be available before the consultation closes on 6th September as they have up to 28 days to respond.

What I can say is, that without PSPOs in place, then CEC are unable to issue fines for breaking the PSPO or ignoring signage that in in place saying “no dogs allowed”

Before the new play area was introduced at Little Lindow on Altrincham Road, there was at least one local resident who used the old play area to let his dug run free whilst he sat on the bench and watched it “do it’s business” and failed to clean up after it. I pointed out the existing signage showing that dogs were not allowed in that area and he not so politely told me where to go, So, I reported this to CEC and they said that the signage could not be enforced as there was not a PSPO for that park. They also said that that there would not be one put in place until the whole of the PSPO’s for parks in Cheshire East were reviewed. This consultation is part of that review. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to be happening at the new “enclosed” play area at Little Lindow. I can only assume that this is because it is being extensively used and most of the time with the children being accompanied by responsible adults.

Unfortunately, I am aware that this isn’t the case at the enclosed play area at Browns Lane in Dean Row. This space is being used by irresponsible dog owners to exercise their dogs off lead and some are not clearing up after their dogs.

I also regularly see dogs off the lead in the existing dog controlled area in The Carrs and to their credit some owners do put them on leads when I point this out, Some do not and give a similar reaction to the aforementioned man.

My opinion is that they are not “irrelevant”; they do achieve something and should be in place at all public parks and children’s play areas across the whole of Cheshire East.
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 7:20 pm
Unfortunately we have amongst us people, both young and old, who ignore normally polite signage which seek to maintain a decent and safe environment for all, including themselves. This being so PSPOs and their like have to be employed - another cost to stretched local finances. Thanks Stuart for a thoughtful comment on the subject of dogs not being appropriately controlled by their owners.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 7:26 pm
Unfortunately entitled (along with new clueless fashion dog buyers) are the latest scourge!
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 8:19 pm
Pointless waste of money, always dogs off the lead and doing their business in the bushes out of site out of mind. Electric scooters, bikes who are these people in all the times I’ve been never seen one but seen plenty of the above.
Marcia McGrail
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 9:21 pm
Adding my tuppenceworth, I have to concur with Stuart: with PSPO's - statistically effective or no - at least there is something to say to those less well educated and/or socially functionless, feckless or ignorant individuals in our midst.
PSPO's send a message, albeit a somewhat muted one, that decent society will not tolerate its wonderful, precious public spaces desecrated in this foul manner.
By all means do it at home; in private but our public spaces are not for leaving your dog's toilet detritus, no matter how far from the path you hide it. And Pleeeease! Do not bag it and throw into bushes and trees either -- eeeyuck!
Children innocently playing have returned home with dog faeces on clothes -- double eeeyuck! -- and adults have to maintain a constant vigil not to step in the malodorous stuff...(what on God's green earth are you feeding these dogs???)
Such ppl appear selfish and self absorbed, seemingly feeling entitled to flout any and all 'common manners' requests (btw shouldn't have to be made into regulations).
'Nuff said.
Alan Brough
Thursday 10th August 2023 at 4:04 pm
As a (I'd like to think) responsible dog owner I support the continuation of PSPO's in The Carrs but fear that it will be a complete waste of time unless it is rigorously enforced - and seen to be so.

Those of us that clean up after our dogs will continue to do so and those that don't will not be put off by signs and notices telling them what they already know - that leaving dog mess lying around is a disgusting, anti-social habit.

The advantage that a PSPO has over existing Dog Fouling legislation is that it can create "Exclusion Zones" around sensitive areas such as children's play areas etc - but (and I may be wrong) in the absence of enforcement officers, this will largely rely on peer pressure to point out to miscreant owners the error of their ways and, no doubt, the pointer-outer will run the risk of the sort of stupid response that Stuart Redgard describes.
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 16th September 2023 at 9:39 pm
The freedom of information request revealed the following:

Dear Cheshire East Council,

Please provide the following information.

A complete list of all public parks and children's play areas.

A complete list of public parks and children's play areas where there is an existing PSPO in place.

The total number of FPN's issued relating to dogs off leads and Dog Fouling in each of the following financial years


The cost of an FPN in each of the following financial years.


The total income for FPN in each of the following financial years.


I can confirm that Cheshire East Council holds the information you have requested. I have detailed below the information that is being released to you.
1. A complete list of all public parks and children's play areas.
Please visit our website: Parks and gardens in Cheshire East
2. A complete list of public parks and children's play areas where there is an existing PSPO in
Please visit our website: Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO's) (cheshireeast.gov.uk)
3. The total number of FPN's issued relating to dogs off leads and Dog Fouling in each of the
following financial years
2018 65 FPN’s issued (Breach of PSPO)
2019 71 FPN’s issued (Breach of PSPO)
2020 4 FPN’s issued (Breach of PSPO)
2021 6 FPN’s issued (Breach of PSPO)
2022 10 FPN’s issued (Breach of PSPO) 1 x Prosecution (Breach of PSPO)
2023 – to April 2023 1 FPN issued (Breach of PSPO)
4. The cost of an FPN in each of the following financial years.
The cost of an FPN for breach of PSPO for each of the below years has been and currently is £100 with no early payment rate.
5. The total income for FPN in each of the following financial years. 2018 & 2019 - We are unable to provide this information.
2020 £200
2021 £500
2022 £800
Alan Brough
Tuesday 19th September 2023 at 8:34 pm
Thank you Stuart Redgard,

The information provided confirms that the order is not being enforced.

The income accrued doesn’t even cover the cost of the signage in the various parks (see Council website) let alone the cost of policing the issue… it doesn’t even cover the hourly rate of the staff member who had to collate the data in order to respond to the FOI request!

And that ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why those who wish to flout the rules can continue to do so with complete impunity.