Council seeks views on current measures to tackle irresponsible dog owners in the borough

13 May 2021

Residents are being invited to have their say on Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle irresponsible dog owners.

In October 2018 the Council introduced a wide range of measures covering the control of dogs and encouraging responsible dog ownership, which are now due for review.  A consultation launches today, Thursday 13 May 2021.

The measures currently in force are:
  • Dogs are excluded from fully-enclosed children’s play areas that contain play equipment.
  • Dogs are excluded from fully or partially enclosed Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) and tennis courts.
  • Dogs must be placed on a lead at the request of an authorised officer.
  • Dogs must be on a lead in Council owned cemeteries and crematoria.
  • Where a lead is required it must be a maximum of 2m in length (fixed or locked).
  • A maximum of six dogs per person can be walked together.
  • Dog walkers must carry sufficient means to pick up their dog foul.
In addition, a separate PSPO was introduced banning smoking from fully-enclosed children’s play areas that contain play equipment – this is also being reviewed.

It is already an offence if dog walkers fail to pick up dog foul.  It is proposed that this standalone offence be included in the wider PSPO on dog control. 

The Council recognises that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control while they are out.  For animal welfare reasons it is also beneficial for dog owners to be able to exercise their dogs off lead in open spaces.

The PSPO aimed to strike a balance, recognising that most people are responsible dog owners, while making provision for controls where they may be necessary.

The consultation will ask for views on the current measures, as well as seeking views on adding additional control areas.  For example, the Council has received a number of enquiries regarding church cemeteries not maintained by the Council.  The consultation asks if the PSPO should be extended to include a requirement for dogs to be on a lead in all cemeteries, and asks if any other areas should be considered.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore said: “We know that problems caused by irresponsible dog owners are felt within communities across our borough and we are committed to tackling these issues.

“Our current PSPO and the new proposals will help keep our children and residents safe in their communities where there could be problems with dog fouling or irresponsible dog ownership. I hope as many residents as possible give their views.”

There are a variety of ways to give your views and the consultation will close on Sunday, 4 July 2021:

On-line: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/DogControlOrderReview
Email:  dogorders@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 8 123
Write to: Research and Intelligence Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council,
4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE

The outcome of the public consultation will be considered by Cabinet in the autumn.

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