New updated rules on controlling dogs in public spaces across Folkestone & Hythe are being proposed.

Cabinet members have agreed that a new Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for 2022-2025 will be put out for a 10-week public consultation.

Dog fouling

The Dog Control PSPO places restrictions on dog fouling (across the district), dogs off leads (selected areas and dates) and dog bans (selected areas and dates).

The current Dog Control PSPO has been effective in supporting enforcement against irresponsible dog ownership and related anti-social behaviour. Failure to comply with a PSPO results in a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), when paid within 14 days. Failure to pay a FPN can mean a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000.

Last year saw a drop in the number of FPNs issued. This is down to increased levels of compliance and awareness of enforced patrols in dog control areas, and an extended social media campaign on responsible dog ownership.

Complaints

The proposed changes to the Dog Control PSPO are the result of requests and complaints from the public, community groups, councillors and Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s grounds maintenance team. Some of the changes are:

⦁ Dog fouling will be restricted everywhere in the district, including beaches. This is in line with national guidance
⦁ Dogs must be kept on leads in cemeteries
⦁ Dogs on leads to be allowed in certain areas
⦁ The ban on dogs on certain beaches at all times from 1 May to 30 September remains.

Irresponsible dog ownership

Cllr Stuart Peall – Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste and Building Control – said: “The Dog Control PSPO responds to public concerns and is an important measure to counter irresponsible dog ownership when supported by enforcement patrolling.

“While we know that the majority of dog owners respect the district and its environment, the new order will ensure the use and enjoyment of public spaces is safe from anti-social behaviour for everyone.”

The public consultation runs until Wednesday 4 May.

To see the full Dog Control PSPO and how you can take part in the consultation, please go here: https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/dog-control/pspo

The Dog Control PSPO exempts assistance dogs and their owners.

By Ed

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