The Mobile Multi-Functional Manager presented her report on the results of the six weeks consultation with regard to the Public Space Protection Orders for Parks and Open Spaces. Proposals about alcohol prohibition zones and dog control had been included and 22 responses were received.
Questions were asked and responses were provided as follows:
- The Chair commented that only dog exclusion and dog on lead were mentioned in the appendix. What about where dogs were allowed to be off the lead? – The report focused on where prohibitions applied, the main concern being the protection of the public or vulnerable wild life. Areas where no restrictions were in place were not listed.
- Cllr Brown said that in semi-rural areas there was a culture of letting dogs go around without lead and their fouling wasn’t necessarily picked up; how do you enforce for people to be carrying bags and clean after their dog? – The Mobile Multi-Functional team was looking to immobilize and upscale and multi-skill a number of uniformed officers to do this enforcement around various environmental offenses.
- Cllr G. Williams wondered why dogs were allowed at all on football pitches. – It would be difficult to enforce a dog total exclusion as this would be dependent on line marking however if members were in agreement with the suggestion this could be submitted to the public as part of the next consultation phase.
- Cllr J. Williams felt that a number of areas were missed off and asked whether community representatives referred to under paragraph 1.5 page 44 could include councillors. – The plan was to upskill members of the team to allow them to be multifunctional and increase officers’ presence to carry out enforcement actions with regard to littering, parking and other environmental offenses. Councillors were welcome and advised to take part in the consultation process. While the appendix only listed areas where dog were either excluded or should be on lead, people should still pick up after their dog in other areas.
- Cllr Burnett-Faulkner made reference to dog poo bag stations in Lincolnshire and suggested that football pitches and children playgrounds should be treated the same when it comes to dog fouling; another issue to be considered was that of antisocial behaviour targeting play areas at night. – It was confirmed that excluding dogs from football pitches could be suggested in the consultation and that training about notably fixed penalties was being provided to the team to address antisocial behaviour.
- Cllr Adcock commented that the consultation question about dogs to be excluded from open spaces owned by parish and town councils was too vague; would it be possible to make it more specific in the next phase of the consultation? – Officers would take the request into account.
- The Chair asked how much would be put into this to be policed. It was important for dogs to be able to run off lead, which was good exercise, while ensuring that their fouling was picked up. More bins at a walking distance would be a first step. – Enforcement would be shortly rolled out targeting hot spots locations and education of the public would need to coincide with any protection order.
- Cllr Whieldon regretted that the dog license did not apply anymore as the fee would cover the dog bags and make the owners more traceable.
- Cllr J. Williams asked if the proposals included County Council land. – Apedale Community County Park was on the list.
- Cllr Dymond asked about the prohibition of drinking and the need to police areas which were littered as a result of people drinking. – Following changes in legislation in 2014 there were no alcohol prohibition zones anymore outside of public space protection orders which the proposals aimed to re-introduce. Members of the public were encouraged to report any incidences to give a reflexion of the problem.
- The Chair asked if re-assurance could be given that the comments raised at the meeting would be taken into account in the next stage of the consultation. – The latter could be tweaked with areas on the list to be discussed further with members regarding their specific localities.
Resolved: That the final consultation on a proposed public spaces protection order as detailed in Appendix A be approved.