Members considered a consultation on an extension of a district wide dog fouling public space protection order (PSPO).
The Housing and Enforcement Manager made it clear to Members that they were actually considering recommending a consultation on extending and varying the PSPO; variation hadn’t been mentioned in the title of the report.
The following sections of the report were highlighted:
· The original dog fouling PSPO was agreed back in 2017. This designated the whole district as an area where the Authority had the power to issue penalties for dog fouling, as well as powers to enforce when individuals refuse to clean up after their dogs when ordered to do so by an officer;
· A separate motion on dog fouling was presented to Full Council in March, but this concentrated on the overall approach to dog fouling; this report to Regulatory Committee was looking at the specific PSPO powers;
· The approach to PSPOs was targeted, rather than, for example, following dog owners. Parish Councils would be asked to advise which parts of their parish have particular issues;
· It was difficult to catch people; previously targeted patrols have been used to tackle this;
· There have been a large number of reports about dog fouling that had already occurred. This showed that dog fouling was still an issue; officers also felt that this topic would not reduce down to a point where the PSPO was no longer required;
· The variation to the PSPO looked at an additional power focussing on asking people to carry a dog bag to demonstrate that they were able to pick up after their dog if it did foul; if they cannot, this would be an offence. This approach may be more prevalent in areas of high dog fouling;
· The approach from the Authority was not one of targeting all dog owners. Realistically, the risk in the more rural parts of the district was minimal, but in the more urban areas, and those areas with play parks dog fouling was a real problem;
· Conditions would be:
· It would be an offence if the owner were not to pick up the dog foul;
· It would be an offence not to dispose of the foul;
· It would be an offence if the owner cannot demonstrate they have the means to pick up dog fouling.
· The consultation was required to be 4 weeks long, however Council best practice dictated that this would in fact be a 6 week consultation. This would mainly be an online consultation; parish councils would be contacted, as well as dog related groups and public interest groups that were known to the Authority. District Councillors would also be included;
· The existing order would end on 3 June, with the next scheduled meeting of Regulatory Committee on 4 June.
Members then provided comment on the report, and asked questions of the Housing and Enforcement Manager. Further information was provided:
· Carrying one bag would not be seen as being a responsible dog owner;
· The power to ask dog owners provided ... view the full minutes text for item 18