Agenda item

Public Spaces Protection Order: PSPO - Dog Control


The Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Housing and Regulation was pleased to present the new Dog Control Public Spaces Control Order for approval.


Prior to 2015, dog control was managed under site-specific Dog Control Orders for different council-owned open spaces. From October 2014, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) as a new power to deal with antisocial behaviour, including irresponsible dog ownership.


This meant the pre-existing Dog Control Orders was phased out and replaced by PSPOs. Newport City Council’s approach, in line with other local authorities, was to combine all matters related to dog control and behaviour into a wider Order, which would benefit all members of the community using council owned and managed land – dog owners and the wider public alike.


The Order was deemed necessary to manage irresponsible dog walking/exercising behaviour that had a detrimental effect on other persons’ use and enjoyment of Public Spaces. This ranged from the failure to remove faeces to the uncontrolled behaviour of animals towards people, other animals and wildlife. Of particular significance was the need to control behaviour in areas of play activity, formal sports and in cemeteries, the occurrence of which generated formal complaints to the authority.


The control measures incorporated to the PSPO included banning dogs altogether from certain sensitive areas such as children’s play areas, a requirement for dogs to be under control and on leads in certain other public places, and a general requirement for dog owners to clean up dog faeces.


In accordance with the legislation and the statutory guidance, the Council was required to consult with the Police, the general public and key stakeholders such as dog owner clubs and associations and have regard to any consultation responses before deciding to proceed with the PSPO.


The process of public engagement and consultation with key stakeholders was overseen by Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee.


The Committee agreed to the public consultation exercise at its July 2021 meeting, following which an extensive consultation was carried out.


This included engagement with key groups including for instance sports clubs, sports governing body, kennel club, National Association of Funeral Directors, Wildlife Trust or RSPB.


In addition, banners and notices were produced and erected around the various sites and put on gates notifying the public.  The link to the consultation was posted onto social media to help raise awareness.  The result was showed a clear majority in favour of implementing the order.


The outcome of the consultation was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee in January 2022. The Committee considered the consultation responses and was satisfied that wide engagement had taken place and that there was a need for the control measures included in the proposed PSPO and therefore recommended to council that the proposed PSPO be adopted.


A Fairness and Equality Impact Assessment was also completed. There were no negative outcomes associated with groups or individuals with protected characteristics, and the PSPO would contribute to the development of Green and Safe Spaces which was a key intervention for the Council.


The proposal was now to approve the Dog Control PSPO for a period of three years, as per the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee’s recommendation.


Comments from councillors:


Councillor Lacey agreed that responsible dog owners cleaned up after their dogs however, this report also related to irresponsible dog owners and therefore fully supported the dog.


Councillor Forsey attended Scrutiny when it was put before the members and also encouraged people to keep their dogs under control around children and in cemeteries and supported the report.


Councillor Whitehead fully supported the report and had campaigned against people not picking up after dogs and the resulting dangers.  Councillor Whitehead questioned whether the council had the resources to police this Order.


Councillor Morris supported the report and agreed with Councillor Whitehead’s comments and referred to irresponsible dog owners discarding their dog mess but asked about the practicalities of policing this Order and taking action. The Presiding Member advised that the information could be found in the report.


Councillor Davies referred to Beechwood Park, which was well used during lockdown and an had also seen an increase in dogs since lockdown, this meant there were increased incidents in people letting their dog off a lead and frightening children. Councillor Davies fully supported the report.


Councillor M Pimm commented that irresponsible dog owners took their dogs to larger parks with designated areas where dogs could run and suggested that it was a good idea to look at providing more dedicated dog running areas in parks.


Councillor Bright welcomed the report.


Councillor Cleverly also supported the report and suggested that more bins for dog litter be provided.



That, Council adopted and implemented the Dog Control PSPO for 2022 to 2025.

Supporting documents: