PROPOSED PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDER
CONSULTATION OF STRATFORD-ON-AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL (PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION) (DOG FOULING) ORDER 2020.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has launched a public consultation on a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order to cover dog fouling.
1.1. The Council is proposing to effectively extend the existing Fouling of Land by Dogs (District of Stratford on Avon) Order 2009, which will lapse in October 2020, for a further 3 years from 20 October 2020 until 19 October 2023. The Order regulates dog fouling in all public spaces within the area of Stratford-on-Avon District Council.
1.2. A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is an element of law introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to tackle anti-social behaviour in a flexible and responsive way and replaces (amongst other things) the dog control orders introduced by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (e.g. the Fouling of Land by Dogs (District of Stratford on Avon) Order 2009). The review of the Public Space Protection Order every three years is a legal requirement, the PSPO can be renewed at the end of the three year period.
1.3. Since the implementation of the Dog Control (Dog Fouling) Order 2009 there has been a downward trend in the number of complaints received about dog fouling. The improvement suggests that the introduction of the Order has successfully achieved some positive change in responsible dog ownership.
1.4. Failing to pick up after a dog in public spaces is seen as anti-social, unpleasant and a health risk. Parasites and other diseases can be found in dog faeces, which can cause health risks particularly to young children. These infections can also be transmitted to other dogs, pets and livestock.
2. THE PROPOSAL
2.1. The draft PSPO is based on the Fouling of Land by Dogs (District of Stratford on Avon) Order 2009 and requires that if a dog defecates in a public place, a person in charge of a dog must pick up after their dog (unless they have a reasonable excuse).
2.2. The draft PSPO will apply to any place to which the public or any section of the public have access whether by right or on payment. This will include privately owned land e.g. car parks, play areas, shopping malls, etc..
2.3. The draft PSPO contains exceptions in relation to blind people and people with other disabilities (and their service dogs). These exceptions are repeated from the old order.
2.4. The draft PSPO also contains an exception in relation to working dogs while they are being used in connection with emergency search and rescue, law enforcement, the work of Her Majesty's armed forces, or herding or driving cattle. This exception does not appear in the old order.
2.5. Enforcement of the draft PSPO would be by way of either prosecution in the magistrates' courts or by fixed penalty notice. The maximum penalty on prosecution is a fine not exceeding £1,000.
2.6. Fixed penalty notices can provide for a penalty not exceeding £100. It is proposed that the amount of penalty under the draft PSPO is £100, with a discount for early payment.
2.7. In the Council's view, the draft PSPO will assist the general public to easily reference and understand what actions must be taken in respect of dog fouling so all can enjoy the amenity of publicly accessible land.
3. REGULATORY IMPACT
3.1. The Council has undertaken a regulatory impact assessment of the proposed PSPO and will continue to consider regulatory impact as part of the consultation process, to ensure that the same is proportionate. The regulatory assessment includes at least the following considerations which the initial observations of the Council are as follows:
|What is the objective of the PSPO?||To extend the existing PSPO for a further 3 years and to deal specifically with dog fouling which is detrimental to the local community's quality of life.|
|Could the objective be achieved in any other way?||The objective could be achieved through the implementation of a byelaw, under the Local Government Act 1972 and based on the MHCLG Model byelaws. However, enforcement measures are restricted to formal prosecution in the magistrates' courts.|
|What will be the impact on those affected by it?||In the Council's view, the draft PSPO will assist the general public to easily reference and understand what actions must be taken in respect of dog fouling so all can enjoy the amenity of publicly accessible land.|
|Will the proposed PSPO increase or decrease the regulatory burden upon those affected by it and can the local authority express this increase or decrease as a financial cost or benefit?||The proposed PSPO will replace the existing expiring order and as such it is considered to have a neutral impact in terms of regulatory burden.|
|How does making the proposed PSPO compare with taking no further action?||The PSPO is considered to have a positive impact when compared to taking no action as it will result in maintaining the regulatory position so that all can enjoy the amenity of publicly accessible land.|
3.2. In undertaking this consultation, relevant local groups, in the Council's view, will be contacted directly however to make sure all members of the public have a say (in case we omit any group or person), so we can gauge the level of support for the new PSPO, this website allows all persons to leave a reply to any particular provision(s) of the same (see snap survey link below).
3.3. As part of the consultation, the Council will also take into account the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
4. CONSULTATION PROCESS
4..1 The Council now wishes to seek comments from the general public as part of its consultation process. Public consultation may address matters, which require further consideration by the Council in respect of the proposed PSPO.
4.2. It would be particularly helpful to hear people's responses to the following questions –
(a) What effect does dog fouling have on you?
(b) How often do you encounter dog fouling?
(c) When and where do you encounter dog fouling?
(d) Do you think that failing to pick up after your dog should be banned?
4.4. The consultation period will close on 20th August 2020.
4.5. Please comment through Snap Surverys