GWYNEDD Council’s cabinet is set to back a raft of orders to keep dogs away from some of the county’s beaches including more enforcement staff and on the spot fines for those who fail to clean up after their pets.
With over 1,000 responses having been received following a public consultation over plans to replace the previous Public Space Protection Order for Dog Control, most stated their wish that the council got tougher on those who let their dogs foul in public places.
As a result, a report that will be presented to Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet next week will recommend a raft of measures including:
That dogs should be excluded from 18 specified beaches from 1 April to 30 September and also from children’s playgrounds, school grounds, sporting grounds and facilities throughout the year,
Those found not clearing up their dogs’ mess in any public place facing on-the-spot fines, which could rise to as much as £1,000,
Forcing dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead if asked to do so by a Gwynedd Council enforcement officer,
That the council employs two dog control wardens who will work on behaviour change campaigns as well as enforcement,
More bins, free bags and new signs are introduced around the county.
Cllr Catrin Wager, the cabinet Member for Highways and Municipal matters said: “I’m so grateful to the 1,324 people and organisations that have taken the time to share their views on the proposed new Dog Control Orders.
“This clearly underlines that dog fouling is something that really concerns Gwynedd residents and it’s important that we listen and take action.
“The vast majority of responses were in favour of continuing with enforcement action when dog-owners fail to clean-up after their pets.
“People were also keen to see dogs being excluded from certain areas such as school grounds, playing fields, sports facilities as well as seasonal restrictions on some of our beaches.
“Most dog-owners take their responsibility very seriously and make sure to clean-up after them. But we know that this isn’t true of everyone and the comments submitted in the public consultation underlines that this is something the council must continue to tackle.”
Of the 1,324 responses received, 80% believed that dog fouling is a problem in their area with 78% in favour of a seasonal dog exclusion from the 18 beaches specified in the proposed order.
While many already have such orders attached to them, if approved, those subject to the banning of dogs from sections of the beaches during the summer months for the three years of the order are Aberdyfi, Tywyn, Fairbourne, Barmouth,Bennar, Llandanwg, Harlech, Morfa Bychan – Black Rock Sands, Cricieth – Promenade Beach, Pwllheli – Glan Don, Pwllheli – Marian-y-De, Abersoch, Aberdaron, Porth Oer, Porth Towyn, Morfa Nefyn, Nefyn and Dinas Dinlle.
If implemented, the plans are expected to cost around £98,000 in the first year, which includes more bins, signs and enforcement staff.
Cllr Wager concluded, “All the comments we received have been considered in detail and we will be looking to introduce more bins, with bag dispensers, as has been suggested as part of the consultation, along with updated signage.
“We are also hoping to introduce two new dog control wardens who will have enforcement powers, but will also be working on behaviour change campaigns to try and reduce fouling incidents in the county.
“The public were clear that they are eager for us to step-up efforts to tackle dog fouling, and we have listened to what our residents have said.
“Should the cabinet support the introduction of these measures, I hope they will lead to a reduction of dog fouling on our streets, and will strike the right balance between dog restrictions and allowing dog owners space and freedom to exercise their pets responsibly.”
The cabinet will discuss the report when it meets on Tuesday, July 27.