Dog control orders to be decided on 13 February

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Dog control orders to be decided on 13 February

Following a 35 day consultation period, Cheltenham Borough Council's cabinet will vote on dog control order proposals on Tuesday 13 February. If approved, the proposals will become effective on 2 April 2007.

The orders cover issues such as dog fouling, dog exclusion zones, areas where dogs must be kept on a lead and owners having to put dogs on a lead when instructed to do so by an authorised officer.

Rob Bell, assistant director for environmental maintenance, says: "We have increased the number of areas in Cheltenham where dog owners can exercise their dogs off the lead, and this has to be good news for dog owners.

"However to balance their needs with those of non-dog owners, we have designated a few areas where dogs will have to be kept on a lead at all times. This is only fair and reasonable, and with recent tragic incidents, people are becoming more and more concerned about uncontrolled dogs - so it is important that there are areas where they feel safe and comfortable."

The dog warden is currently responsible for dog control enforcement, with the support of the public protection division. In order to deliver effective future enforcement, eight officers in the environmental maintenance division will be given added responsibilities to enforce dog control orders and the council also intends to roll out this approach to include park rangers in the future.

Cllr Rob Garnham, cabinet member for environment, said: "The orders will be reviewed on a regular basis and I intend to survey park users during the summer of 2007 and 2008 to ensure we have the right orders to reflect the wishes of all park users.

"It is important that everyone has a say - both those with dogs and those who use the parks for other recreational purposes. Our aim has always been to strike the right balance in allowing people to have freedom to let their dogs be exercised off the lead but also to give areas of the parks to those people who prefer an environment where dogs are not running around loose. We must also protect our ornamental parks and formal gardens. If any changes are needed then we can amend the orders through the normal Cabinet process."

The public were given the opportunity to comment on the proposals via the council website, or by letter to the public protection division. The results of the consultation are as follows:

Total responses: 295
- Individual responses : 62

- One petition of 44 signatures opposing requirement all dogs be kept on a lead in all parks (note: the draft orders did not in fact propose a blanket ban).

- One petition of 189 signatures opposing the requirement that dogs be kept on a lead in Sandford Park, west of College Road.

The council also formally consulted the parish councils regarding the scope of the orders, and no objections were received.

Posted : 13/02/2007 00:09:35

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