Taking a lead on dog fouling

Coun Fred Jackson (below) says dog owners face higher fines if they allow their pets to foul in the street after residents backed moves to impose tougher penalties.
Coun Fred Jackson (below) says dog owners face higher fines if they allow their pets to foul in the street after residents backed moves to impose tougher penalties.
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DOG owners face higher fines if they allow their pets to foul in the street after residents backed moves to impose tougher penalties on irresponsible animal lovers.

Fines for the offence are set to increase from £50 to £80 across Blackpool.

Coun Fred Jackson

Coun Fred Jackson

Town hall enforcement officers are also in line to get new powers to order people to put their dogs on leads where necessary.

Blackpool Council’s executive is being recommended to agree the two new dog control orders when it meets next Wednesday.

But further proposals to ban dogs from some areas completely, and to order all dogs to be on leads in other areas, have been put on hold for the time being.

Coun Fred Jackson (top right) cabinet member for streets, said; “We have held a very good consultation and there was no dissent at all from the public on the issue of increasing fines for dog fouling.

“Tackling this issue was a pledge in our manifesto before the last local elections because there is a real concern around it.

“It is something raised regularly at area forums and councillors’ surgeries so we are not surprised by this response.

“A minority of people do allow their dogs to foul and it is something we need to take control of.

“We now have 92 officers across the council who can deal with fixed penalty orders.”

The Gazette reported in August 392 complaints about dog fouling were lodged with Blackpool Council in the first four months of 2012.

However proposals for dog exclusion zones, which could include children’s playgrounds, skate parks, tennis courts, bowling greens and wetlands such Stanley Park lake, are to be re-examined, along with requirements that dogs must be kept on a lead in some areas.

These would include when they are being walked near public roads, car parks, sports grounds, allotments, cemeteries and nature reserves, as well as on the Promenade.

Coun Jackson added: “We have had several people who have had concerns so we have agreed to defer a decision on these, look at them again and re-consult. But we do intend to keep a ban on dogs in children’s playgrounds as we believe there is a risk to children’s health from dog fouling.”

Existing rules banning dogs from the beach between North and South Piers between May 1 and September 30 are set to continue.

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