Dog owners have welcomed a new set of measures in the revised Dog Control Orders that will ultimately see Blackpool promoting itself as a dog-friendly destination.
The public consultation in summer of 2018 was extensive and attracted more than 1,600 responses. Now, Blackpool Council has agreed on a revised set of dog control orders across the resort.
Revised Dog Control Orders
The measures to be adopted within the new Public Space Protection Orders take effect from December 1, 2018 and include:
- Dog walkers being required to show they have the means to pick up dog mess when challenged by authorised officers.
This measure received overwhelming support from dog owners (81%) and non-dog walkers (85%). It’s viewed as a strong deterrent to change the behaviour of irresponsible dog owners.
- Extension of an existing order for dogs on leads.
To include Promenade Middle Walk, Starr Gate tram circle and South Promenade grass embankment. In addition, Cabin Walk will be designated as an area for dogs on leads by request. Fisher’s Field will not be included within the extended areas.
- Relaxation of the dogs on leads order.
This currently exists in the Italian Gardens and Café Terrace in Stanley Park. From December 2018 it will be a seasonal restriction from 10am-4pm from May 1 to August 31.
- Lifting of restrictions for dog exclusion areas at open space ponds and wetlands.
This restriction is to be replaced with dogs on leads by request. Dogs will not be excluded from marked out sports pitches except when in use.
- Continuation of the existing dogs on leads by request rule.
On all land within the borough.
Following the consultation process, a proposal to limit the number of dogs walked by one person to four will not be pursued. Nor will a recommendation to make non-microchipped dogs remain on a lead in any public space, as there is already national legislation in place for compulsory microchipping.
It’s also been decided that the possible imposition of a minimum age that a child or young person can walk a dog required greater consideration. Therefore it will not go ahead at this time.
The Council has also agreed to meet regularly with representatives of dog owner action groups and other interested parties. This way they’ll be able to support local dog walkers and address issues related to irresponsible dog walkers.
Dog Control Orders lead to a Dog-Friendly Destination
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the consultation on dog control orders. We appreciate people taking the time to share their opinions.
“There has been a great interest in how the proposals will affect dog owners and it’s important to emphasise that this consultation was never about targeting responsible dog owners.
“It has never been our aim to deny responsible dog walkers the freedom to exercise their dogs with unnecessary restrictions. The new measures are designed to tackle irresponsible dog owners and incidents involving dogs. They should not pose a problem for responsible dog owners.
“While the new PSPO will provide enhanced enforcement powers, these controls will deter irresponsible behaviour by dog owners and hopefully reduce the need for enforcement measures.”
Listening to Responsible Owners…
Laura Gilmour, from the Blackpool Orders for Dog Control Action Group said: “We were very pleased that Blackpool Council had welcomed us to take part in the discussions regarding the proposed PSPOs.
“The concerns of over 1600 responsible dog owners and some professional dog walkers from across the borough were listened to, and we are very pleased with the outcome.
“The aim now is to continue to work with the dog wardens and local businesses to encourage responsible dog ownership with a number of events, and ultimately promote Blackpool as a dog-friendly destination for residents and visitors alike.
“We also like to take this opportunity to thank our members for the support and solidarity they have shown. We want to keep the group running, but under a different name, working with the Council to promote responsible dog ownership”.
…and sending a message to irresponsible ones
Elaine Smith, Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park group, said: “Overall, I am happy with the decision as it provides clarity on what the rules are around dog control. Hopefully there will be less confusion over where dog walkers can and can’t walk their dogs as well as encouraging everyone to pick up after their dogs.
“We want to help crack down on irresponsible dog walkers and are keen to attend meetings with the Council. We want to identify ways to educate people about dog control and to make Blackpool a more dog-friendly town.”
The message is clear. Please pick up after your pet and keep it under control while you’re out walking with it. We all know how our pets will react when they see other dogs/animals/children etc, and it’s the owners responsibility to make sure that it behaves when it’s under your supervision.
Dogs on Beaches
Dog control orders apply throughout the bathing water season on the main amenity beaches in Blackpool.
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