Agenda item

Public Spaces Protection Order Dog Controls - To scrutinise the latest report.


Cabinet Member Paul Griffiths introduced the report and answered the members’ questions with Huw Owen and David Jones. 

Key points raised by Members: 

1.      Why was there a low number of responses from sports clubs? 

2.      What are the practicalities of enforcement, especially where play areas aren’t fenced in? 

3.      Can we assess the effectiveness in 6/12 months time and ask for public feedback about how it’s going? 

4.      We have a high bar to reach for raising awareness: some dog owners are very unhappy about not being able to run their dog on the pitch at Bailey Park, for example. 

5.      Compare with anti-social driving measures, in which a patrol car would visit problem areas – what are the equivalent enforcement options in this case? 

6.      Could the location of the old swimming pool in Bailey Park be a free running area? 

7.      Can you the point about exclusions on school land, and certain exceptions? 

8.      Will the consequence of these measures be an increase in dog fouling on pavements? Will enforcement officers be able to look at that, and is there a fine for that? 

9.      What methods will be used to inform/educate the public on the PSPO and how it affects green spaces? 

10.   We previously had the impression that the red card wouldn’t be used as there was too much dialogue on it – the boards would be more graphic. Do we have more of an idea on that? 

11.   Will the order be printed on the signs – that it’s ‘a designated area etc.? 

12.   Some authorities have dog bag vending machines, which are very cheap – has anything like this been considered? 

13.   In terms of intelligence, how/who do members or residents contact? 

14.   Would town council be able to utilise some of the enforcement officers? 

15.   Can you clarify the exclusion areas in relation to Caldicot Castle Grounds? 

16.   In Caldicot, are the exclusion areas not inconsistent with the active travel routes e.g. the route from Deepweir to the village, and back in front of the cricket club? 

17.   Will this not discourage people from walking with their dogs or children to and from school? 

18.   If there is a tarmacked pavement, will people not naturally assume that they can walk on it with their dog? 

19.   Will there be a FAQs section on the website when this is rolled out? 

20.   We need to be aware of what communities spend e.g. Gilwern spends £14-15k on dog bins, but dog users from other areas come into the community because there hasn’t been sufficient enforcement, so work with town and community councils is crucial 

21.   Can we work with dog owners to find areas for them to use – could they form an organisation or user group to have their own area designated for dog walking and exercising? 

22.   We need to recognise the importance of the Dangerous Dogs Act, as some of the feelings from communities about dogs coming on to playing fields, for example, is that there have been instances of big dogs frightening children 

23.   At Chippenham Mead, will marking on signage indicate where dogs can be taken off lead? 

Chair’s Summary: 

This is a controversial paper but welcomed by the committee today. We all want spaces that are safe for both people and dogs, and I think the administration has taken a sensible approach and heard the residents' feedback in the consultation. We asked them to reassure us how they will enforce this PSPO, and the challenges of enforcing it on open play areas. Awareness and education are crucial for the success of this measure, and town and community councils will have an important role, as well as we as county councillors, in managing it going forward. We also need to consider exceptional cases, such as therapy dogs in schools and the effects of the PSPO on the cleanliness and hygiene of pavements, and we need to know how the public can provide information. Thank you to the Cabinet Member and officers for bringing this report. There were many questions and we support this fully. There may be some areas that are difficult, but if we educate the residents and make the zones clear, it will be very beneficial for the county overall. 

We note that regarding Recommendation 2.3, the allocation of costs will be considered during the capital pressures review that will go to council on 29th February. 


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