Public Spaces Protection Orders for Dog Control
A cross party working group was established in March 2016 to consider the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) for the enforcement of dog control in Fylde under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. PSPOs can be introduced in a public place to prevent certain persistent activities that are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life in the locality. Failure to comply with a PSPO is an offence which can be dealt with by a fixed penalty notice (of up to ￡100) or by prosecution (maximum fine of ￡1000)
In November 2016 officers were instructed to carry out the necessary consultation and engagement as required by the legislation. A six week consultation was carried out via Survey Monkey between 2 December 2016 – 15th January 2017 to gauge public opinion on the proposals. The survey included questions on each specific area/order proposed as well as the opportunity to add free text commentary. It was circulated to key interest groups and organisations including but not limited to the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA, local licensed boarding facilities, Vets, Parish Councils, Lancashire County Council and Duchy of Lancaster, all Fylde Councillors and Staff, all interested parties who had previously contacted the Council regarding the PSPO proposals and relevant service requests (106). The consultation link was also promoted via the Council Website, Social Media, Regional TV and Radio, Local Newspapers and via the Dog Enforcement Wardens who handed out 187 consultation link cards to interested individuals; paper versions of the survey were available on request.
In total 1,996 consultation responses were received: 1319 from residents, 390 from non-residents (362 regular visitors), 241 from Fylde business owners, 22 from professional dog walkers and 1,105 from dog owners. 948 respondents added commentary under the free text section.
In total 114,547 words were reviewed and the commentary was categorised into the following themes: Enforcement (217), Dog Welfare (124), Economy (110), Confusion over proposals (75), Number of dogs (72), Professional dog walkers (66), Elderly or disabled concerns (48) and Health and Environment (30). 533 responses objected to the proposals, 301 supported the proposals and 181 included general statements and comments both in support and against the proposals. Detailed responses were also received from the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust.
The Elected Member PSPO Working Group held an initial meeting on the 24th January to consider the consultation results and all supporting feedback. Further consultation was subsequently carried out with the Kennel Club, Natural England, Town and Parish Councils and representatives from the local professional dog walker community to assist the Working Group in finalising their recommendations.
The final recommendations were presented to the Operational Management Committee in May 2017 for debate and discussion. At the meeting the committee unanimously RESOLVED to approve the recommendations from the cross party working group as outlined below:
• To implement a borough wide PSPO for fouling
• To implement a PSPO for dogs on lead on public highways
• To implement a PSPO for dogs on lead in all council owned car parks
• To implement a PSPO for dogs on lead in Lytham cemetery
• To implement a PSPO for dogs to be excluded from enclosed/fenced children play areas
• To implement a PSPO for dogs to be excluded from ornamental water features
• To implement a seasonal PSPO for dogs to be excluded on the designated Amenity Beach from Good
Friday to 30th September.
• To implement a seasonal PSPO for dogs on leads along the Promenade Gardens in line with the Amenity Beach exclusion period.
• To implement a borough wide PSPO for dogs on lead by direction only
In addition, it was agreed to explore an accreditation scheme for professional dog walkers as an alternative to limits on the number of dogs in partnership with the Kennel Club and representatives from the professional dog walking.
The Operational Management Committee had originally approved a recommended implementation date of 1st June 2017 for any potential PSPOs that may be agreed. Given the level of interest shown in the consultation and the length of time required to consider all feedback and suggestions received, it was recommended that the implementation of any agreed PSPOs be delayed until 1st October (to allow for an educational phase) with enforcement commencing from 1 November 2017in order to give officers sufficient time to effectively communicate proposed changes to all dog walkers, residents, visitors, businesses and organisations that may be affected by the changes.
The specific requirements of the individual PSPOs will be communicated via clear, polite and informative signage in appropriate locations using a traffic light system with green indicating areas were dogs can be freely exercised; amber indicating areas where dogs are required to be kept on lead; and red for dog exclusions zones such as the amenity beach and enclosed children’s playgrounds.
Further information on the specific PSPOs can be found on the down load section of this page.