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Public order to curb dog fouling in Ipswich parks set for approval

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A new public order to curb dog fouling in Ipswich’s parks is being recommended for approval after a survey found 87 per cent were in favour of proposals.

Ipswich Borough Council’s executive has recommended that the full council adopts a new public space protection order (PSPO) which covers the control of dogs and dog fouling.

A public consultation in the summer resulted in 87 per cent of the 585 respondents agreeing with the plans, with 96 per cent stating they felt dog owners not picking up their pet’s mess was a problem.

Christchurch Park in Ipswich
Christchurch Park in Ipswich

Council data published for the consultation indicated 396 breaches of dog control byelaws had been reported between March and November 2020. It said that 304 of those were dogs being off leads in areas they shouldn’t be, 72 reports of dogs being in areas they shouldn’t be and 20 instances of attacks on wildlife, other dogs or causing damage to property.

The new PSPO, which is needed as a result of changes to park byelaws that means dog control will no longer be covered, must be passed by the authority’s full council before it is brought into force.

Cllr Alasdair Ross, Labour portfolio holder for public protection, said: “It is needed to provide regulation to ensure maximum protection of our parks and open spaces.

Alasdair Ross, Labour portfolio holder for public protection at Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council
Alasdair Ross, Labour portfolio holder for public protection at Ipswich Borough Council. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council

“Some people say why are they needed – there were 304 breaches per year, but more seriously there were 20 serious breaches which has included the death of wildlife.

“Most park staff every day will deal with some sort of issue with dogs, so it is very important. Outside of the parks dog fouling is a major issue, especially on the approach to and from schools.”

Cllr Ross said it was not designed to discourage dogs and dog owners from using parks, and would be conducted in a way where park staff would talk to dog owners first in the event of any problems.

He added: “It doesn’t say all parks you must have a lead on your dog, it’s on direction so in certain areas you can’t and certain areas you can, and it is best practice that staff approach dog owners and explain why they should have a lead on [in the event of an issue].”

Once enacted, those found breaching the rules could face a £100 fine.

It is not yet clear when it will go to full council for a decision or when the rules may be introduced if approved there.