Suffolk Coastal is asking local people if they want them to implement a series of new dog control orders.
In recent months, the District Council has introduced a number of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). These have been largely to replace existing byelaws across the district.
However, Felixstowe Town Council asked them to consider introducing additional dog controls within certain areas.
So, before Suffolk Coastal makes any decision on this issue, it is asking for the views of local people through a 6-week public consultation – which starts on Monday, 12 November, and runs until Friday, 21 December 2018.
“This is not about Suffolk Coastal District Council wanting to bring in draconian restrictions on dogs or their owners. We are carrying out this consultation in response to local communities asking for additional controls in specific areas to allow everyone to enjoy the amenities,” explained Cllr Steve Gallant, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Community Health.
“Suffolk Coastal is a dog friendly district and we recognise that most dog owners are incredibly responsible about where they walk their dogs, and cleaning up after their pets. However, the local communities feel there are certain areas where dogs should be controlled and kept on leads.”
“We have a legal duty to consider these requests and also consult with the wider public, before making any decision. I would encourage people to take this opportunity to have their say on these draft proposals, so we can make our final decision based on a clear consensus of public opinion.”
In total, six new PSPOs are being suggested, four of which relate to Felixstowe:
- Dogs on leads within Martello Park, Felixstowe
- Dogs on leads on Felixstowe Town Hall Gardens
- Dogs on leads on Felixstowe Seafront Gardens
- Exclusion of dogs from Langer Park children’s play area, Felixstowe (NB. This purely covers the area of Langer Park, where the swings and other play equipment is – not the whole park!).
Or you can write to: PSPO Consultation, c/o Environmental Protection, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton Suffolk IP12 1RT
Your comments should reach them no later than midnight on Friday, 21 December 2018.
All consultation responses will be given due consideration by the District Council before any orders are made. The final decision will rest with the Suffolk Coastal District Council and will be scheduled for consideration at a Cabinet meeting after the closure of the consultation period.
If you require any further information or have any queries related to this matter, please contact or write to them using the details given above.
Public Space Protection Orders
Please Note: A PSPO is already in place across Suffolk Coastal in relation to dog fouling. It is an offence not to clear up after your dog in any public open space at any time of the year.
Background: Dog Control – Public Space Protection Orders: The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, introduced powers for Local Authorities to make a “Public Space Protection Order” (PSPO) in respect of land to either prohibit activities or impose requirements on people using the land where it appears necessary and reasonable to do so in order to “prevent a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those resident in the area”.
A PSPO remains in force for a period of 3 years after which it must be reviewed and re-made.
Suffolk Coastal District Council has already considered and approved a number of PSPOs following public consultation:
- Exclusion of dogs from gated and fenced children’s play areas
- Exclusion of dogs from a defined area of Aldeburgh beach from 1 May to 30 September
- A requirement to clean up after your dog in all public open spaces
- Controls at Landguard Point Nature Reserve
- Dogs on leads on a specified area on the beach south of Shingle Street from 1 May to 30 September
- Exclusion of dogs on a defined area of Felixstowe beach from 1 May to 30 September
The 2014 Act specifies a process which must be followed in order to make a PSPO and this includes:
- that the Council considers the availability of alternative facilities for dog owners to exercise their dogs in public places unrestricted by any PSPO,
- the effects on people who rely on assistance dogs and
- for the proposals to be subjected to appropriate consultation, including affected land owners and the chief constable for the area.
The 2014 Act provides that any “interested person” who is aggrieved by the restrictions imposed by a PSPO may appeal to the High Court within 6 weeks of the PSPO being made on certain grounds.
Once made, a PSPO makes it an offence for any person to fail to comply with it. The maximum penalty in the Magistrates’ Court is £1000, but the offence may be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice of £80.
Enforcement may be undertaken by Council Officers or its agents and by police officers or PCSOs.
Each and every proposal must be the subject of a consultation exercise during which the specific controls being considered must be publicised and public comment invited and subsequently considered prior to making any order.
Further detailed information on the dog control orders is available on our website at: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/environment/environmental-protection/animals/dog-control/public-space-protection-orders/