Dog ban plan for open space

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A ruling to ban dogs from areas of green space around the Wetherby area are being proposed by council bosses.

The skate park, sports pitches and children’s play area at Deepdale in Boston Spa is just one area outlined for a total ban whereas St James’ church grounds and cemetery in Wetherby’s Hallfield Lane is highlighted for a dogs on lead restriction.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “We introduced dog control orders two years ago to clamp down on nuisance and dangerous behaviour.

“The rules have proven to be very effective in encouraging responsible dog ownership but where people fail to take these responsibilities seriously we do enforce them.

“Reviewing the orders will ensure they remain appropriate.

“At the same time, they will give dog owners clarity on what we believe responsible ownership involves.

“We’re confident that the orders will also continue to give communities the reassurance they need that we’re doing all we can to clamp down on nuisance behaviour and fouling.”

People are being asked if they agree with proposals to exclud dogs from more public spaces and a consultation will run until April 20.

“I’d encourage everyone to get involved and have their say during the consultation,” added Coun Dobson.

Under existing dog control orders, dogs (other than guide or assistance dogs), are excluded from children’s play areas, remembrance gardens, some school grounds and wildlife gardens.

The rules also mean that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times on the city’s streets and footpaths and grass verges next to roads. It also covers cemeteries, crematoria and some ornamental gardens.

As part of the consultation, people are being asked if they think any other areas or sites should be added to areas where dogs are excluded or required to be kept on a lead.

The orders allow the council to clamp down on nuisance and dangerous behaviour and they prevent unattended dogs from causing damage or upset in sensitive locations like cemeteries and wildlife gardens.

Owners in breach of an order can be issued with an on the spot fixed penalty notice for £75. The maximum fine if prosecuted is £1,000.

Fixed penalty notices have been issued to 89 people for breaching orders in the last 12 months with 18 dog owners being prosecuted.

Also included in the proposals is the playground in Freely Lane in Bramham and the tennis courts, sports pitch and bowling green at Stable Lane in Boston Spa.

A full list of the land covered by the current and proposed dog control orders are available at www.leeds.gov.uk/dogs. Hard copies of the survey can be requested by calling 0113 395 1765 or by emailing environmental.action@leeds.gov.uk.