To consider the report for Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Control in Teignbridge.
The Environmental Protection Manager presented the report on the Implementation of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for responsible dog ownership. Members were advised on the purpose of a PSPO and of the two conditions that the local authority must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that are met. An officer working group had reviewed the project and there had been an extensive consultation. The eight suggested controls were outlined, these included existing control, improvements on existing controls and new controls. Members were advised that there was no specific statutory guidance to assist when setting a restriction on the number of dogs that could be walked by a single individual on or off a lead. Members were asked to recommend setting the restriction on the number of dogs and attention was brought to the comments in the consultation on this matter and the responses from interested organisations.
During discussion, Members raised the following points:-
· Should the seasonal dog exclusion date commence from 1 April on beaches? Not just Dawlish Warren Beach
· The majority of dog owners were responsible it was just those few irresponsible owners that caused the issues
· How would enforcement be undertaken and by whom?
· How would public evidence of an offence be acted on?
· There was an issue with dogs being left to roam
· Dog fouling was a real issue in the parishes across the District
· Concerns about working dogs in rural areas; these should be excluded
· What about the existing bye laws?
· How were children play areas defined?
· There was an issue with dog walkers putting dog faeces in bags and hanging on hedges in rural areas
· The maximum number of dogs on a lead should be four.
The Environmental Protection Manager clarified the following:-
· cycle paths, both those adjacent and not adjacent to a Highway, would be covered by the PSPO
· The three Community Environment Wardens would undertake the role of enforcement
· Complaints could be reported on-line
· Hotspots would be targeted
· Walking patterns of offenders would be identified
· Recording of car number plates would help to trace offenders - this would be a non-confrontational way of reporting an offence
· The existing bye laws would remain in place
· Would investigate if Dawlish Town Council Water Fowl Wardens would be able to enforce the PSPO
· There would be a publicity plan to make the public aware of the order and its contents
· The Community Environment Wardens work patterns do vary to cover different times of the day to address issues.
Executive Members discussed the seasonal dog exclusion dates on the beaches, the needs for signage to be clear and the number of dogs that could be walked by a single individual.
RESOLVED that the:-
(1) implementation of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Responsible Dog Ownership under ss59 to 75 of the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014 be approved subject to the inclusion of:-
· Cycle paths to be added as a highway
· working dogs to be added to the existing list of exemptions - farm dogs moving livestock on the highway are not expected to be on a lead
· the maximum number of dogs permissible on or off a lead with a single individual to be four;
(2) Council’s Solicitor be authorised to draft and make the Order;
(3) Council’s Environmental Protection Manager be authorised to issue fixed penalty notices under the PSPO; and
(4) seasonal dog exclusion areas on beaches from 1 April to 30 September be approved. This to be reviewed in 12 months.