The Committee received a report presented by the Cabinet Member for Public Protection in respect of extending the current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which was due to expire at the end of June for a further 3 years.
The Cabinet Member explained that subject to a number of exemptions and restrictions, the Original Order required that people:
· Clean up after their dogs on all public land in the County.
· Put and keep their dog on a lead by direction.
· Not to take their dog onto or permits their dog to enter or remain on any enclosed children’s play areas in the County.
The Cabinet Member further explained that a targeted consultation period on the extension of the PSPO had taken place with a number of statutory consultees and other relevant stakeholders, a list of which was included within the report. However, it was evident several responses had been received from individuals and organisation who had not been invited to respond. 43 responses were received with 85% of those respondents supporting the extension of the current PSPO for a period of 3 years.
It was reported that a number of respondents had made suggestions comments through the consultation exercise and that the comments and responses were appended to the report at Appendix 8 of the report.
Committee Members noted that this report sought to extend the duration of the 2016 Order whereby a new Extension Order would need to be made, a draft order was appended to the report at Appendix 2. It was reported that the Authority, subject to a separate consultation, would be able to consider additional controls and conditions to be added to the current PSPO in future and that an engagement exercise was currently being carried out to seek wider views.
The following comments/queries were raised in relation to the report:-
· In response to a query raised regarding Fixed Penalty Notices, the Cabinet Member for Public Protection explained that as stated in 3.1 of the report since the 2016 Order came into force there had been 3002 (Up to 31/12/2021) complaints received in relation to dog fouling. 100 fixed penalty tickets had been issued and 6 prosecutions had been implemented for offenders who had failed to pay the fixed penalty notice. It was emphasised that the difficulty was that an enforcement officer would have to witness the incident at the time of the offence for a fixed penalty notice to be issued.
· It was asked if the PSPO was enforceable outside of an enclosed space and if pavements were included? The Head of Waste and Environmental Services clarified that the PSPO covered any public land and that enclosed fenced off spaces such as a children’s playground would include a no dog zone. It was clarified that footways were included as public land and therefore covered by the PSPO.
· In reference to the response from the Kennel Club as part of the consultation, it was commented that farmers in order to obtain insurance must provide documentation to prove that they worm their dogs. However, it was raised that dog owners were able to work their dog on public footpaths crossing agricultural land thus causing a concern of passing on worms to cattle and sheep. It was asked if it was possible to include that the landowner has a right to enquire with the dog owner if their dog had been wormed. The Cabinet Member for Public Protection acknowledged the query as a concern and agreed to include the matter as part of the future consultation. The Cabinet Member acknowledged the concern and would feed it into the consultation.
· In response to a query, the Cabinet Member for Public Protection, corroborated by the Head of Waste and Environmental Services confirmed that PCSO’s were equipped with the power to issue fixed penalty notices to dog fouling offenders which supplements the Council’s enforcement officers.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO CABINET:
4.1 that the duration of the Carmarthenshire County Council (Dog Control) Public Spaces Protection Order 2016 be extended for a further period of 3 years with effect from the 1st July 2022;
4.2 that the Council makes an Extension Order to give effect to the above extension and endorses the 2016 Order with suitable wording to reflect the fact that the duration of the2016 order has been extended.