A Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) proposed by Thanet council will ban dogs from children’s play areas and introduce a strict on-lead policy for pets being walked in cemeteries. Summer dog bans for beaches will also be enforced although owners will now be able to take their pets on to Walpole Bay as long as it is on a lead.
The PSPO areas will be enforced with on the spot £100 fines for breaking the following rules:
Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded. These exclusion areas include fenced children’s play areas and Pegwell Bay mudflats and saltmarsh all year around
Exclude dogs from Minnis Bay, Viking Bay, Margate Main Sands Ramsgate Main Sands (Harbour end) from 1 May to 30 September
Ban dogs from 1 May to 30 September during the hours of 10am and 6pm on Botany Bay, Joss Bay, Louisa Bay, Stone Bay, Westbrook Bay, West Bay and St Midlred’s Bay.
At Walpole Bay, dogs will need to be kept on a lead during these times.
Require dogs to be kept on leads; or placed on a lead if considered to be out of control upon request by authorised officers
Require dog faeces to be picked up by owners or any person in charge of the animal on any land which is open to the air to which the public have access, with or without payment
Require persons in control of dogs in a public place to have a suitable receptacle on their person to pick up their dogs faeces
Keeping a dog on a lead 24 hours a day all year around in the following locations: Pegwell Bay (upper chalk shore), Ramsgate cemetery, St George’s churchyard, St Peter’s churchyard, Margate cemetery, St John’s church yard and All Saints in Birchington.
The council will publish a list of restriction free, alternative locations for dog walkers on its website.
The new rules mean a change for Walpole Bay which previously had a complete Summer dog ban between 10am and 6pm but will now be open to dogs as long as they are on a lead.
Thanet council deputy leader Lin Fairbrass said: “I am tabling an amendment to the proposed PSPO for Dog Fouling and Control at the Cabinet meeting on 25 October.
“Having asked officers to check with Keep Britain Tidy about its Blue Flag criteria, they have confirmed that the current restrictions will suffice. I am therefore pleased to say that the amendment will allow the seasonal dog bans to remain as they exist currently.
“I know this is a subject close to people’s hearts and would like to thank everyone for their comments and hope this will enable the many Thanet dog walkers to continue to enjoy the beaches as they do now.”
Any enforcement officer can issue the PSPO on-the-spot fine/fixed penalty notice to anyone found not to be following the new rules. If unpaid, a convicted offender could be fined up to £1,000.
PSPOs may be enforced by police officers, police community safety officers and any officers designated by Thanet District Council.
A consultation on the proposals was carried out between 10 August and 2 September. The council received a total of 74 community submissions. The original proposals have had alterations made in terms of which beaches have a total ban and which were to have on-lead restrictions.
The proposal is due to be discussed by council Cabinet members on October 25. It had been due to be implemented today (October 19) but a meeting to decide on approval scheduled for today was postponed.
It will now come into force, if approved, on November 4.
PSPOs, came into force last year under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Similar to anti-social behaviour orders (asbos), PSPOs allow for broad powers to criminalise behaviour that is not normally criminal.
Neighboring Dover District Council brought in PSPOs in 2015.
Thanet council says the PSPO will help it simplify existing rules, replace old legislation – which expires this year- and control irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up dog faeces or control their dogs.
A spokesman said: “This zero tolerance approach and enable us to take action and fine the minority of people who blight our wonderful beaches and open spaces.”
What is a PSPO?
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO ) propose to deal with a particular nuisance in a particular area that is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can prohibit certain things or require specific things to be done.
An example of when a PSPO may be issued could be to help keep dogs under control within a public place such as a park. It may require that the dog is kept on a lead at all times and/or the dog is only allowed in certain areas. Alternatively, it may prohibit the consumption of alcohol in a specific place.
When deciding whether an order should be issued, the local authority must consider two things:
Firstly whether the behaviour is having a detrimental effect, or is likely to have this effect. Secondly, whether the effect/likely effect of the activities is of a persistent nature making the behaviour unreasonable and rendering the notice justified.
It can be made to apply to all people, or limited only to certain people and can be restricted to specific times. A PSPO can last no longer than 3 years but can be renewed and widened if necessary. Failure to comply with the order can result in a fine or a fixed penalty notice.