Dog controls put on hold

ANY decision to ban dogs from sports pitches and play areas will not be made until next year.

The new powers, if approved, wouldwill also clamp down on owners who fail to clean up after their pets.

A consultation process finished on November 4. Now all the information with the recommendations for each order will be reported back to Cabinet.

The decision as to whether a particular dog control order will be implemented and in what form will be made by cabinet. It will then go before full council for final approval.

Councillors on the economy and environment scrutiny panel were told that the matter was anticipated to be reported to cabinet in early 2012.

Councillor Barry Collins, the council’s spokesman for economy and environment, told them that the responses to the consultation had been very productive and it had been one of the most successful consultation exercises for engaging with the public.

The council’s overall aim is reduce the number of incidents of dog related complaints which included dog fouling, especially on children’s playing fields, sports pitches, cemeteries and bowling greens.

Following the results of the consultation, if necessary, ways to step up enforcement might have to be addressed in order to tackle particular hotspots.

Officers advised councillors that no costings had been looked at as yet if the orders were introduced. However, approximate costing relating to training, which would be in-house, would probably be in the region of between £1,000 and £3,000.

The use of signs, looking at other boroughs, could be in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 which would be costs incurred over a period of time.

There was currently one full-time officer, and one part-time officer dedicated to working with dogs but there was a wider range of officers working in other departments who could be trained.