Cheshire East Council has extended its controls on dog fouling, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour for a further three years.
The council’s cabinet voted (6 October) to renew a series of public space protection orders (PSPOs), which compel owners to clear up after their pets, as well as a variety of gating orders.
It follows a six-week consultation on the proposals. Council deputy leader Craig Browne told cabinet the results showed public support was ‘overwhelmingly in favour’ of the renewal.
A number of PSPOs had been introduced across the borough to tackle anti-social behaviour, criminal activity and dog fouling. The council must review the orders after three years – and these will now run until November 2023.
Gating orders – where gates have been installed to block off passageways to prevent crime and anti-social activity – were introduced in some parts of the borough several years ago and have now been consolidated into one PSPO.
The council is also extending the borough-wide PSPO, introduced in November 2017, that applies to dog fouling and dog control, making it an offence punishable by an on-the-spot penalty if an owner fails to clean up after their dog or is deemed not to be in control of their dog.
A further separate order relates to one area of the borough where there has been a specific problem with dogs and dog fouling. The Carrs Park, Wilmslow, is a public open space and recreation area popular with visitors and dog walkers from a wide area. A bespoke order has been in place for some time to control dogs off leads and to limit the number of dogs per owner.
Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “I am pleased that we have extended these protections for our residents. Public space protection orders give local councils additional powers to deal with a wide range of anti-social issues, to assist in keeping local communities safe.
“No council wants to have to introduce these measures in an ideal world but, sadly, they have become necessary in parts of our borough, where residents have suffered from behaviour that negatively impacts on their environment and quality of life.
“I would like to thank the public for taking the time and trouble to give us their comments and feedback during the consultation.
“Dog fouling is one of the biggest concerns our residents tell us about and this council will continue to crack down on irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets and owners who fail to control their dogs in public places.”
Since the introduction of PSPOs, 146 fixed penalty notices have been issued over breaches of the dog controls, with a further 78 fines handed out in Wilmslow.
Fixed penalty notices for contravening the orders are currently set at £100 but, if prosecuted, fines can rise to £1,000.