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Great Yarmouth Borough Council consults on continuing legal order promoting responsible dog ownership

GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is consulting on whether to continue for another three years a legal order which helps to promote responsible dog control at publicly-accessible land across the borough.

In April 2017, the council created a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for the borough which brought long-standing dog control measures under the latest legislation and also updated the rules to reflect the expectations and aspirations of communities.

Full council introduced the order following a public consultation and input from parish councils and key landowners. PSPOs last for a maximum period of three years, after which they must be reviewed to ensure they are still required. Unless renewed by full council, the current order will expire on March 31, 2020.

The council is holding a public consultation, from Friday, November 29 to Friday, January 3, to ask individuals, landowners, parish council and other organisations whether they would like to continue the existing order for another three years.

No additional dog control measures are being proposed as part of the consultation. This review is purely on the PSPO which is currently in place with a view to helping full council decide whether or not the existing controls should be renewed.

From Friday, November 29, people will be able to take part in the consultation at Paper consultation forms will also be available at the neighbourhood offices, Town Hall reception and housing offices.

The main controls under the PSPO are:

Failing to pick up your dog's mess (borough-wide). While dog-fouling remains an offence under national law, the order brought it under the latest legislation and extended it to cover any land across the borough to which the public have access.

Dogs on leads request (borough-wide). This empowers authorised council officers to direct that a dog is leashed if it is considered to be out of control, causing alarm or distress or causing a nuisance. This covers any land across the borough to which the public have access and it is an offence not to comply.

Dogs on leads requirement (some locations only). Dogs are required to be leashed upon entering specific locations, in the interests of hygiene, preventing nuisance and/or promoting respect. Locations include Great Yarmouth Old and New Cemetery, Caister Cemetery and select playgrounds where residents must walk through them to access their property.

Dog ban (some locations only). In the interests of hygiene, safety and/or promoting respect, people are not allowed to take dogs into Magdalen Lawn Cemetery and Gorleston Old Cemetery, fenced children's play areas, fitness areas, skate parks and multi-use games areas.

Seasonal controls (from May 1 to September 31). To minimise risk of issues between dogs and other beach users, there is a long-standing dog ban during the tourist season on the busiest stretches of beach at Great Yarmouth (between the piers) and Gorleston (from Harbour's Mouth to The Ravine), plus a seasonal dogs on lead requirement on the adjacent sections of proms during this period.

Cllr Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: "The majority of dog owners are very responsible, but there continues to be that minority who break the rules, and our Environmental Rangers use the PSPO powers to take successful proactive enforcement against these individuals. 

"The creation of this PSPO three years ago essentially consolidated and updated the borough's long-standing dog control measures under the latest legislation. To ensure those conditions remain relevant, however, we're required after three years to consult on the current order to help full council decide whether or not to renew. 

"We aren't proposing any additional controls as part of this consultation, simply asking whether or not to continue the existing order with the current rules that have been in place for some years. I would encourage people to express their views on our website."

Last modified on 27 November 2019

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