Variations to Dog Control measures agreed following consultation

Cambridge City Council has agreed to extend the current Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) with the introduction of new variations that aim to improve the safety of residents, wildlife, and dog owners.

Councillors considered a report at yesterday’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee which noted the outcomes of the public consultation carried out in February and March.

The consultation asked residents to comment on the current terms of the PSPO, and proposed variations that could be introduced to help the council address specific dog control issues in the city’s public spaces. These issues included dog fouling in parks and dogs entering children’s play areas.

Councillors agreed the current PSPO be extended with the following new variations:

  • A requirement for dogs to be kept on leads during bird nesting season (1 March to 31 July) in Local Nature Reserves (Barnwell West, Barnwell East, Bramblefields, Limekiln Pit, part of Logan’s Meadow, Paradise and West Pit), as well as sites with nesting birds at Mill Road Cemetery, to help protect wildlife
  • A maximum number of dogs that someone can be responsible for at any one time at Coldham’s Common sports pitches and Hobson’s Park
  • Increasing the fixed penalty notice amount to up to £100 for those who breach the PSPO.

Councillors also agreed that the following be retained under the order:

  • The person in charge of the dog must clear up dog faeces immediately
  • Authorised officers will be able to direct those in charge of the dog to put them on a lead in situations where dogs appear to be out of control, are posing a threat to people or animals, causing damage or in an emergency
  • The requirement for dogs to be on leads at all times at Histon Road Cemetery, Newmarket Road Cemetery, areas by the pond and stream at Cherry Hinton Hall, the green areas outside the residential area at Hanover and Princess Court and Tenby Close playground
  • Current dog exclusion areas include fenced children’s play areas, outdoor children’s paddling pools, tennis courts, some green spaces and bowling greens
  • Exemptions whereby the PSPO doesn’t apply to a person in control of a working assistance dog which has been trained to assist a person who has a disability.

The council received 736 responses to the consultation. All responses were reviewed and used to help shape the recommendations that were presented at the committee meeting.

Cllr Sam Carling, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces and City Services, said: “The aim of extending this protection order is to work together to create a good environment for everyone using our open spaces, so that we can all feel welcome and safe. Most dog owners are responsible when walking and exercising their dogs, and the provisions in the order don’t limit them in doing so – rather, the order sets positive standards to ensure respect for everyone that enjoys our open spaces, and to maintain our natural environment.

“The Dog Control PSPO was first introduced in 2017 and has been a successful tool that our officers have used to help manage the way our open spaces are used by dog owners and dog walkers.

“We received a great number of responses to the consultation, and I’m grateful to everyone that took the time to share their views and experiences to shape this order so that we can address key concerns in a way that works best for everyone.”