New rules for 'dog friendly' Blackpool

The results of the PSPO are in
The results of the PSPO are in
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Blackpool Council has agreed on a new set of dog control orders following a public consultation.

Proposals to limit the number of dogs walked by one person to four have been thrown out as a result of the consultation, which received more than 1,600 responses.

Plans to forbid non-microchipped dogs going off-lead in any public space were also ditched, as there is already national legislation in place for compulsory microchipping.

It was also decided that the possible imposition of a minimum age that a child can walk a dog required greater consideration, and will therefore not go ahead at this time.

The Council has now agreed to meet regularly with representatives of dog owner action groups and other interested parties to support local dog walkers and address issues related to irresponsible owners.

Councillor Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the consultation on dog control orders. We appreciate people taking the time to share their opinions.

“There has been a great interest in how the proposals will affect dog owners and it’s important to emphasise that this consultation was never about targeting responsible dog owners.

“It has never been our aim to deny responsible dog walkers the freedom to exercise their dogs with unnecessary restrictions. The new measures are designed to tackle irresponsible dog owners and incidents involving dogs. They should not pose a problem for responsible dog owners.

“While the new PSPO will provide enhanced enforcement powers, these controls will deter irresponsible behaviour by dog owners and hopefully reduce the need for enforcement measures.”

The new orders will mean dog walkers will be required to show they have the means to pick up dog mess when challenged by authorised officers.

Dogs must be kept on leads in Promenade Middle Walk, Starr Gate tram circle and South Promenade grass embankment. Cabin Walk will be designated as an area for dogs on leads by request.

Meanwhile, existing orders for dogs to be kept on leads in the Italian Gardens and Café Terrace in Stanley Park will be relaxed, so that it becomes a seasonal restriction from 10am until 4pm from May 1 to August 31.

Orders forbidding dogs from open space ponds and wetlands will be lifted and replaced with dogs on leads rules by request. Dogs will not be excluded from marked out sports pitches except when in use.

Laura Gilmour, from the Blackpool Orders for Dog Control Action Group said: “We were very pleased that Blackpool Council had welcomed us to take part in the discussions regarding the proposed PSPOs.

“The concerns of over 1600 responsible dog owners and some professional dog walkers from across the borough were listened to, and we are very pleased with the outcome.

“The aim now is to continue to work with the dog wardens and local businesses to encourage responsible dog ownership with a number of events, and ultimately promote Blackpool as a dog-friendly destination for residents and visitors alike.

“We also like to take this opportunity to thank our members for the support and solidarity they have shown. We want to keep the group running, but under a different name, working with the Council to promote responsible dog ownership”.

The new PSPOs will be enforced from December 1.