A consultation on how to ensure responsible dog control in East Hampshire’s open spaces is set to begin.
East Hampshire District Council is proposing to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to replace existing outdated local dog byelaws.
The public consultation will run for a period of eight weeks from 22 July and will ask residents for their views on dog fouling and the control of dogs in specific areas.
New rules would provide a clearer and more consistent approach to dog control and make it easier for everyone to understand dog owners' responsibilities.
The district-wide controls under consideration include:
• People in charge of a dog must have a suitable bag with them or means to pick up their dog poo
• People in charge of a dog must pick-up, remove and suitably dispose of its poo
• Putting dogs on a lead if asked by an authorised officer
• Exclusion of dogs from fenced and gated areas such as: children’s play areas, skate parks, tennis courts and multi-use games areas
• Dogs in council-owned cemeteries must be on a lead
• Extending the current arrangements for dog control at Queen Elizabeth Country Park for a further three years.
Some of the current dog byelaws don’t come with the power to issue a fixed penalty notice. The new PSPO proposes that charges should be set at £100 which is the maximum permitted by the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act.
Cllr Julie Butler, Deputy Leader of EHDC and Portfolio Holder for Welfare and Communities, said: “A positive outcome from this consultation will allow us to update old legislation that is no longer appropriate.
"It will make the enforcement procedure a lot clearer and allow us to issue fines to those who continue to cause upset, disruption and offence in our communities. We want to ensure robust enforcement when necessary and not just for the sake of it.
"Dogs are an important part of everyday life for many of our residents and visitors, and the majority of those are responsible and caring owners. The new rules should balance the needs of dog owners and other members of the community.
"We want to hear your views on the plans.”
The new rules do not apply to registered assistance dogs.
Feedback and comments are invited from individuals and groups. To take part in the consultation online, go to www.easthants.gov.uk/takethelead from Monday 22 July 2019. Paper versions of the survey are also available on request.
Following the consultation, the council will look to implement the PSPO in late 2019.