You have an opportunity to have your say on proposed dog orders which could become law in public spaces across the Derbyshire Dales.
The District Council is looking to adopt exclusion orders and a dogs-on-leads policy in certain areas - and to give council workers powers to issue fixed penalty notices to dog owners who fail to remove dog poo left by their animals in public places.
In a survey carried out last month by the District Council, the vast majority of responders - 53% of whom were dog owners - agreed that dogs should be banned from children's play areas and enclosed or fenced games areas.
In addition, 70% agreed dogs should be kept on leads on sports pitches and 82% said dogs should be kept on leads in churchyards and cemeteries, while 88% supported the District Council's proposal to set a fixed penalty fine of £75 or above for any non-compliance of dog orders.
Now the consultation moves to the next stage, with local people being invited to comment on a list of areas where it is proposed dogs will be banned or required to be kept on a lead as part of a Public Spaces Protection Order adopted under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. Anyone failing to comply once an order is in place will be issued with a fixed penalty notice or could risk prosecution.
A fine of up to £1,000 could be imposed on conviction in a Magistrates' Court. However, it is proposed to offer a fixed penalty notice of £100, reduced to £75 if payment is made early, as an alternative to prosecution.
The consultation form can be completed online - and paper copies are available on the reception desks at:
- Ashbourne Leisure Centre
- Bakewell Swimming Pool
- Arc Leisure Matlock
- Wirksworth Leisure Centre
- Matlock Town Hall
Key areas where it is proposed dogs will be excluded include the play areas and any sports pitches in the District Council's major parks in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock, Matlock Bath and Wirksworth and some recreation grounds.
Among the list of public spaces where dogs could be forced to be kept on leads in the future are all of the District Council's major parks, recreation grounds plus cemeteries and churchyards across the Dales.
A District Council spokesperson said:
"The response to our first survey on how to crack down on irresponsible dog owners has given us confidence to push ahead with new public space protection orders. The aim is to activate these in spring next year – but first we want to give everyone a chance to have a say on the list of proposed restricted areas.
"In addition to spending £830,000 on street cleaning every year - including the cost of emptying 350 dog waste bins across the district – we have seen dog fouling complaints double in recent years.
"These new orders, once adopted, will give us more powers to tackle inconsiderate dog owners who, put simply, are a drain on Council Tax payers' money."
- The consultation form includes a full list of all the proposed restricted areas