Have your say on plans to reduce dog fouling in Central Park

You have have your say on the review of a Public Space Protection Order designed to reduce dog fouling.

We are proposing some changes which include ensuring that dog owners have a means to pick up after their dog as well as extending the dogs on lead zone in Central Park. We are also proposing a change to dog controls on sports pitches.

Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet member for Customer Focus and Community Safety, said: "I'm a dog owner and people who do not control their dogs or pick up after them give the rest of us a bad name. 

“Residents are constantly telling us that we have to clamp down on dog fouling, and we think that by continuing to have these controls and by making these changes to our current PSPO, we will encourage behaviour change in the very small pocket of the community who let the rest down.

"It is really important to note that none of this is set in stone. We’ve put these ideas, which we think will be to the benefit of everyone, together and it’s now up to residents who let us know if this is what they want."

Although the proposed new PSPO is largely the same as the original, there a few significant proposals being put before residents.

The first would make it an offense to be out with a dog without means to pick up after it. This policy has been successfully adopti=ed in a number of other areas across the country and will encourage the small minority of dog owners who flout the law to do the right thing.

Another proposed alteration concerns where dogs on should be a lead in Central Park. 

Two sets of plans have been drawn up. The first would see the current zone, which covers the Meadow Cafe, Community Sports Hub and Play Space, extended to include Cottage Field, the adjacent grass outside of the Life Centre and also the Milehouse Park and Ride car park.

The other proposal encompasses the area above and extends to the southern boundary of the park, excluding the Wooded Valley. 

Central Park - proposed dog control

The current PSPO says that dogs must be on a leads on marked playing pitches. This has led to confusion over the definition of 'marked.' The next change suggests removing this caveat, meaning that in all circumstances, dogs must be on leads on any kind of playing pitch. The consultation also seeks views on excluding dogs from playing pitches altogether. 

The final significant change will ensure that that dogs must be on leads at the site of the city’s new crematorium on Haye Road, next to Drake Memorial Park.  

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are the legal framework that forbid fouling, regulate where dogs should be on leads and where they are not allowed to go at all, and empowers the Council to issue fixed penalty notices to people who do not follow the rules. 

It will be an updated on the existing order, which was introduced in 2017 and by law, must be reviewed every three years. 

The consultation can be accessed here - www.plymouth.gov.uk/dogcontrolconsultation 

It will close on Sunday 2 August. A published report will follow in September.