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Dogs to be excluded from children’s play areas and playing fields in Newport

NEWPORT City Council has proposed stricter rules for dogs in parks, cemeteries and playing fields.

In a report presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Friday, July 30, it is outlined that dogs will be banned from children’s play areas and they will have to be “under proper control” within cemeteries.

The new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) will include seasonal exclusions from sports pitches.

Dogs will have to be on leads or “under proper control” when walking near sport pitches, depending on the time of year.

RSPCA Cymru has voiced its opposition to dogs being banned from marked sports areas and playing fields.

An RSPCA Cymru spokesperson said: “We all want to see dog fouling tackled and responsible owners should be picking up their pet’s mess.

“It is not fair for the vast majority of law-abiding dog owners – who may value some of these walking spots to exercise their canine companions.”

Labour councillor Yvonne Forsey welcomed the proposals of Newport Parks’ PSPO.

Cllr Forsey said: “There are considerable health hazards with dog faeces in children’s play areas.”

She added: “It is respectful to have dogs on leads in cemeteries.”

Joanna Gossage, the council’s Service Manager for Environment and Leisure, said it is not possible to exclude dogs from cemeteries because of the paths trailing through them, but these restrictions will help manage the issue of dog fouling in cemeteries.

Conservative councillor Matthew Evans agreed with the report and said “tougher action” was needed.

Cllr Evans added: “Dogs do need to run around and interact with other dogs. We don’t want to put in draconian measures, this is about balance.”

If approved, the new restrictions will be enforced by park rangers, police and community support officers.

The report presented to the council states: “In an ideal world, we would hope that such was the universal support for the measures it would become self-policing.”

Residents are able to have their say on the proposals in a public consultation, which will last for four weeks.

Ms Gossage said: “We want everyone to enjoy our parks in equal measure.”

The public consultation will be open to all Newport residents, with the council keen to reach those directly affected, such as park users and local sports teams.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

The act aims to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.

Breaking a PSPO could result in a fine.

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