New changes to dog control and littering enforcement in Leeds
New restrictions around littering, smoking in children’s play areas and dog control will come into place in Leeds next month.
From the 1 July 2018, anyone walking a dog will be required to carry a bag or have some other way to pick up and remove their dog’s mess, as well as there being additional locations within the city where dogs will be required to be placed on a lead. Dogs will also be prohibited from Leeds City Council owned tennis courts and multi-use games areas.
This builds on the previous dog control orders that included the dog wardens powers to ask owners to put a dog on a lead (where it is causing a nuisance) and the maximum number of dogs that can be walked at any one time (six for professional walkers and four for others).
Fixed penalty notices of £100 are also to be introduced to enforce an earlier prohibition on smoking in children’s playgrounds.
Along with the above changes, new regulations from the Government that came into effect earlier this year give local authorities the power to increase the charge for fixed penalty notices for littering to up to £150. Leeds City Council will raise the charge of a fixed penalty notice on 1 July 2018 to £100 (an increase of £25 from the current fine), or £80 (an increase of £20) if you pay within 10 days. This is the first increase to the fine in 13 years.
The recommendation was made following extensive public consultation around tackling litter and to act as a better deterrent to people dropping litter. The fine also affects the unauthorised distribution of free printed material, flyposting and graffiti.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:
“Keeping the city tidy and free of mess is a priority for the council and we are therefore taking stronger actions against those that do litter or fail to clean up after their dogs and lead to the complaints regarding the city’s cleanliness.
“We don’t want to have to fine people, so it is a simple case of doing the right thing, putting litter in the bin and picking up their dog’s mess.
“With regards to the controls around dogs, the primary aim is to encourage good habits, therefore we will allow a three-month introductory period where we will be educating dog owners as to their responsibilities, rather than penalising people for innocent mistakes.”With the co-operation of residents, visitors and businesses, we hope to see a great improvement throughout Leeds resulting in high standards of cleanliness.”
PSPOs deal with a particular nuisance in a defined public space where this is having a negative impact on the quality of life for those in that public space.
In order to introduce a PSPO the local authority must be satisfied with the behaviour that is being restricted is:
- Having or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
- Is persistent or continuing in nature
- Is reasonable
- Justifies the restrictions imposed.
The PSPO lasts for a maximum of 3 years but can be extended beyond this time. The current PSPO around dog control builds on the following areas:
Leads – An existing requirement for dogs to be kept on leads adjacent to the carriageway citywide, but also in some areas where it is appropriate to keep dogs under closer control, such as ornamental gardens, cemeteries and crematoria.
Additional locations that will now be added to the schedule will be the area around the wildfowl lake at Golden Acre Park; Ornamental gardens at the Hollies and Lotherton Hall; Middleton Community Bike Hub; golf courses at Roundhay and Temple Newsam; the children’s play area at Springfield Park Guiseley; and cemeteries/churchyards at Whinmoor, Kippax, Elmete, Yeadon and Holy Trinity Rothwell.
Exclusion – An existing requirement for dogs to be excluded from most children’s play areas and remembrance gardens. Additional locations that will now be added to the schedule will be Swinnow and Moortown children’s play areas; all Leeds City Council-owned tennis courts and Multi-Use Games areas (MUGAS).
A maximum number of dogs to be walked at any time – this is a citywide existing requirement, but with clarity added for professional dog walkers. Individuals can walk a maximum of 4 dogs at any time, but professional dog walkers can walk up to 6 provided that they do not walk with or alongside other people walking dogs. Any professional dog walker walking alongside others loses their professional privilege and can walk a maximum of 4 dogs.
There is an exemption from the requirements of the order for those who are registered blind, deaf and have an assistance dog for this purpose and for those who have an assistance dog provided by a prescribed charity and who have a disability that affects mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination or ability to lift, carry or move everyday objects.
To find out more about the restrictions and new fines in place visit https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents