Chichester District Council is reviewing the rules for dogs in public spaces and is asking people to give their views in a new public consultation that started on Friday 17 July.
The consultation offers the opportunity for district residents, community groups and businesses to have their say on the council’s proposals to amend and continue the current Public Space Protection Order for dogs in public spaces until 2023.
The council introduced the current Dog Control Public Space Protection Order in October 2017, which made it an offence in specific locations such as parks, playgrounds and public spaces to:
· Fail to remove dog mess immediately;
· Not put and keep a dog on a lead when instructed to by an authorised officer; and,
· Allow a dog to enter an area in which dogs are excluded.
A breach of an order can result in offenders being issued an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £100.
The proposal is to extend the current rules for a further three years from October 2020, with some small amendments.
The suggested changes are designed to address public feedback and take into account the council’s experience in managing land and enforcement issues in relation to the current dog controls. The amendments include allowing dogs on East Wittering and Bracklesham beaches from May to September — while retaining the dog exclusion zone on Selsey Beach during the same period — as long as dogs are put on a lead if directed to do so and that all dog mess is cleared up straight away. It is also proposed that the rules are extended around dog fouling to include additional footpaths and cycleways not currently covered.
Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, says: “We want to make sure that everyone — with or without dogs — can safely enjoy the many beautiful public spaces we have in our district.
“We know that most dog owners are responsible, but unfortunately there are a small number who do not pick up after their dog or allow them to run out of control. This Public Space Protection order means that we can tackle these issues, which can negatively affect our communities, our wildlife, and spoil people’s enjoyment of our beaches and open spaces, while at the same time encouraging responsible dog ownership.”
“Our Foreshores team carry out the majority of dog control enforcement in our coastal and beach areas, but we also work with Litter Enforcement Officers from East Hampshire District Council to enforce litter and dog fouling rules across the district. One of the proposals we are putting forward would enable the Litter Enforcement Officers to enforce all aspects of the dog control PSPO, and not just dog fouling. This would give us more resources to deal with dog control issues.
“This consultation is a chance for people — residents, business owners, organisations and visitors — to share their thoughts on our proposals, and we are keen to hear a wide range of views from as many people as possible.
“It takes 5-10 minutes to complete our quick survey, and people can choose to respond to the aspects that interest them.”
The consultation went live on Friday 17 July on www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalkdogsinpublicspaces and the deadline for responding is midnight on 14 August 2020.
There is also a list of frequently asked questions to help put the survey into context and explain some of the terms used. People can request a paper copy of the questionnaire by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
People who would like to get involved with more consultations and surveys in the future can also join Chichester District Council’s Let’s Talk Panel. By signing up, they will be automatically notified of any consultations by email, and can decide whether or not they want to take part. People can join by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalkpanel