January 2019

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Published on 7 January 2019

Council reconsiders Public Space Protection Order on dog controls

Proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog fouling and control are to be reconsidered by Teignbridge’s Full Council.

Council will meet on Monday 14 January at 10.30am to look again at the proposals.

The decision comes after the Executive re-examined the draft PSPO following recommendations by Overview and Scrutiny Committee (O&S) to alter elements of the draft order.

The resolution of the Executive of 4 December was called in after more than one third of councillors (16 councillors) asked for it to be brought back to Full Council.

The call-in states:

"To examine the decision to have only four as the maximum number of dogs on a lead in the light of the decision by East Devon District Council, the comments from the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals and numerous disparaging comments from dog walkers across the Teignbridge District."

The Full Council agenda and report has been published and is available at: https://democracy.teignbridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=165&MId=462&Ver=4

Teignbridge’s Environmental Protection Manager David Eaton said:

“It’s very much business as usual for our community environment wardens while councillors consider elements of the PSPO. Wardens will continue to respond to complaints about dog fouling and breaches of dog byelaws. Once a decision is made, officers will work towards implementing the PSPO from 1 April 2019.”

There are existing laws covering dog fouling and irresponsible dog ownership, although this is inconsistent across the district and in some places Teignbridge is unable to enforce. This makes it a challenge to deal with in areas where people have reported a problem. There are current byelaws for some council-owned parks, green spaces and beaches. Offences must be prosecuted through the courts and cannot be enforced using penalty notices.

Under any new PSPO almost all rules will stay the same. The council will incorporate existing laws into the new order and there will be some additions. It will mean fixed penalty notices can be issued when someone breaks the law.

If introduced the PSPO would mean:
• you must pick up after your dog in public places
• dogs aren't allowed in areas signed as dog exclusion areas (for example, children’s play parks)
• dogs aren’t allowed on some beaches from April 1 to 30 September
• dogs must be kept on a lead in certain areas 
• dogs must be kept on leads when walking next to a road, on footpaths next to the road or on cyclepaths
• where a dog is being a nuisance or annoying to people or other animals, people must put their dog on a lead if asked to do so by a council officer or police officer
• one person can only walk a maximum of four dogs at a time
• you must carry sufficient dog poo bags

Any PSPO, when implemented, would not apply to a registered blind person or someone who has a dog trained by a charity to support a person suffering from mobility, manual dexterity disability or deafness. Farm dogs moving livestock on the highway will also not be expected to be on a lead.

The Ness Beach, Shaldon, and Holcombe Beach, Dawlish, are not covered by existing seasonal dog exclusion areas and will remain places where people can walk dogs at any time of the year.

You can view current byelaws and seasonal dog exclusion areas at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/dogbyelaws