Council gets tough with new rules on dog mess

PICKING IT UP -- the council is urging all dog-walkers to be as responsible as this lady.
PICKING IT UP -- the council is urging all dog-walkers to be as responsible as this lady.

Dog-walkers in Ashfield could soon be fined £100 on the spot if they fail to carry a bag or container with them to pick up dog mess.

The rule is one of the main elements of a hard-hitting, new order that the district council wants to enforce in Sutton, Kirkby and Hucknall and the rest of Ashfield later this year.

The council is fed-up of receiving complaints about dog fouling on the street, in parks, churchyards, cemeteries and other public places, and on footpaths, pavements and grass verges.

So now it plans to get tougher than ever before by introducing a public spaces protection order (PSPO) that can be enforced by council officers, wardens, patrols, police community support officers (PCSOs) or the police themselves.

“It will be an offence to fail to produce, when requested, a receptacle for picking up dog faeces,” reads the proposed order. “This will apply to all land to which the public have access.

“We intend to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 to enforce the order and failure to pay may lead to prosecution for committing a criminal offence.”

The PSPO, from which blind people would be exempt, would also include existing rules that cover dog mess and keeping dogs on a lead. And it would embrace other anti-social behaviour offences, such as drinking alcoholic and urinating in public areas.

“By dealing with all these issues under one order, the council would save time and money but also underline its commitment to reducing crime and disorder across the district,” said a spokesman.

“The existing orders have been successful in creating attractive parks and public spaces people can enjoy. We are confident the new one would be equally effective.”

Residents have been given until midnight on Friday 17th July to have their say on the new order, copies of which can be inspected at Ashfield District Council offices in Sutton, Kirkby, Hucknall and Selston or via its website at www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk. You can write to the community protection manager at the council offices, or e-mail PSPOConsultation@ashfield-dc.gov.uk.

The council’s portfolio holder for community safety and engagement, Coun Nicolle Nidiweni (Lab), of Hucknall, says: “There was significant evidence to support the original orders, which dealt with responsible dog-ownership and appropriate behaviour while consuming alcohol.

“This new action seeks to update the powers police and council officers have to support our work in making Ashfield a great place to live in and visit.”