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Flintshire Council to tighten dog fouling enforcement

FLINTSHIRE Council could be set to tighten its measures to deal with dog fouling in public areas.

The authority’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is due to expire in September and consultation is set to be opened about what should be included in the new one.

PSPOs were one of a number of tools and powers given to councils and their partners in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.

Flintshire’s current PSPO covers enforcement against dog fouling which is covered by the council’s Streetscene team, and drinking alcohol within town centres which is enforced by the police.

At a meeting of Flintshire Council’s environment scrutiny committee, head of planning Andrew Farrow said a petition requesting dogs be banned from the Rosie pool areas of Wepre Park to be included in the new PSPO is going out to consultation next month.

He added that there was also a proposal on the table to ban dogs from the memorial gardens in Mold.

“We can’t just do that on the hoof we have to consult on that”, he said.

“Cabinet have decided that (the Rosie) will form part of the consultation process as will the exclusion of dogs from the memorial gardens in Mold.”

Mr Farrow added that the consultation will begin on June 5, running for six weeks to July 14. The scrutiny committee will consider the consultation feedback before cabinet make a final decision in September.

Buckley Pentrobin Cllr Dennis Hutchinson (Ind) asked whether areas around schools could be included too.

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Cllr Dennis Hutchinson

He said: “We have a scenario whereby schools seem almost to be targeted by dog walkers, with dogs doing their business in front of school gates.

“That’s prevalent at a number of schools in Buckley. We don’t have many (schools) but it’s enough for me to know what I’m talking about and I think it’s prevalent elsewhere within the county as well.”

Mr Farrow said the PSPO covers playing fields, play areas, memorial gardens, cemeteries but that dog fouling outside schools would still be an enforcement issue.

This led Cllr Hutchinson to ask about the council’s enforcement team and its current staffing levels.

Streetscene chief officer Katie Wilby confirmed the council currently has 10 enforcement officers working across the seven days of the week and invited members to flag up problem hotspots in their wards.

She said: “We have a small team of enforcement officers who are multi-disciplined so they don’t just cover dog fouling they cover car parks, fly-tipping, side-waste. They have an extensive range of duties over seven days.

“If there are any problematic areas where you’ve got dog fouling, littering, please let us know and we can build those into the rotas.”

The issue of signage was also raised by Argoed and New Brighton Cllr Hilary McGuill (Lib Dem).

She said: “If you have an area like a school field or in some cases a cemetery where you have a footpath going through that area are people still allowed to walk their dogs along the footpath and will you be putting signs up saying they have to pick up their litter?”

Mr Farrow answered that dog walkers can walk with their pets along public footpaths as long as they are armed with the equipment to pick up their litter and keep their dogs on a lead.

“People are allowed to walk their dogs through them but they have to have the facilities to pick up their litter and they have to be on a lead as well”, he said.

“Signage is a critical part.”

The consultation will be publicised when it opens next month.