PROPOSALS to extend the city’s current Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) were heard at Cambridge City Council’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday 19 January.
The report presented to the committee, also included recommendations to add new variations to the current dog control requirements.
The PSPO will now be consulted on and subject to the results of the consultation it could mean that it is extended for a further three-year period and that the new variations recommended in the report could become part of the PSPO.
A public consultation will be launched in February and March to allow residents the opportunity to make voice their views on the proposed variations to the PSPO.
The outcome of the public consultation will be reported back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in June 2023, including any final proposed amendments to the PSPO, together with a recommendation for the order’s formal agreement.
The proposed dog control variations being put forward for consultation include:
- Expanding restrictions so that no more than four dogs can be walked by a single person at any one time in Hobson Park and marked sports pitches at Coldham’s Common, following complaints of lack of dog control and aggressive dogs
- Expanding the dog exclusion area at Hampden Gardens, covering the wider green area, where the play area is located, for users who prefer to use dog-owner free parks
- Introducing new exclusion areas at Shelly Row recreation ground, and the fenced astro-turf pitch and multi-use games area at Coldham’s Common as these are designated sports areas
- Introducing a requirement for dogs to be on leads in marked sports pitches at Coldham’s Common – this comes after reports of aggressive dogs and dogs straying without owner control
- Introducing a requirement for dogs to be kept on leads during bird nesting season (1 March to 31 July) in Local Nature Reserves (Barnwell West, Barnwell East, Bramblefields, Limekiln Pit, Logan’s Meadow, Paradise and West Pit), as well as sites with nesting birds at Hobson Park and Mill Road Cemetery, to help protect wildlife
- Introducing a requirement for dog owners and dog walkers to always carry a means to pick up dog faeces across the whole of the city in a bid to reduce dog fouling. When walking and exercising a dog they must be able to produce the means when requested to do by an authorised officer
The current Dog Control PSPO has been in place since 2017 and is due to expire on 18 October 2023. It includes the requirement to:
- Clean up after dogs, removing dog faeces immediately in all streets and open spaces across the city. Dog fouling can pose a threat to public health
- Always keep dogs on a lead in specified areas, such as Newmarket Road Cemetery, and the pond/stream area at Cherry Hinton Hall
- Put dogs on a lead when directed to by an authorised officer
- Not take dogs into specified exclusion areas, such as the fenced tennis courts in Coleridge Recreation Ground and fenced children’s play areas at Aberdeen Avenue
- Not take more than four dogs at any time into Byron’s Pool Local Nature Reserve.
Cllr Alex Collis, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice, and Community Development said: “The Dog Control Public Space Protection Order was first introduced to help manage the way our public open spaces are used by dog owners and to ensure that they are safe, clean and enjoyable for everyone, including those with dogs.
“The orders are required to address the irresponsible behaviour of a small minority of dog owners, whose actions continue to have a detrimental impact on peoples’ quality of life and ability to enjoy outdoor places, not to mention the impact that they have on the wider environment.
“The existing PSPO sets out clear standards of behaviour that we would all want to see from dog owners. What these new variations do is to follow up on some of the additional concerns raised with us by residents, and which aren’t yet covered in the order.
“We want to make sure that everyone is able to continue enjoying our public spaces, that we are addressing residents’ concerns – and especially taking action to protect the wildlife that is so important to our city.”