More than 7,000 residents have so far responded to Wirral Council’s consultation on a proposal to introduce new rules affecting dogs and their owners in a number of public areas.
There are just under two weeks left for people to make their views known on a potential Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which would give the council and other delegated enforcement partners greater powers to tackle irresponsible dog ownership in Wirral – particularly around leisure areas that attract a large number of visitors.
Amongst the measures people are being asked for their views on is a potential requirement for owners to keep their dogs on a lead in certain areas, such as cemeteries and picnic areas.
The biggest debating point of the consultation so far, however, has been around the proposal that some small seasonal ‘dog free zones’ be established covering specific locations, such as sports pitches during the season and small sections of Wirral’s bathing beaches.
Cllr Matthew Patrick, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “It is fantastic that so many people have been engaging with this issue and all comments and representations we receive will be looked at.
"I’d urge people to take a look at the detail of what’s being proposed. I hear some people saying that we want to ban dogs from all beaches and parks and we want to stop dogs from being able to exercise properly and run freely in open spaces. That is absolutely not the case. I am from a family that has always had dogs and I know how important it is for them to run off the lead, be around other dogs and follow their natural instincts.
“The aim of any dog control PSPO would be to ensure that Wirral’s beautiful open spaces can be enjoyed by everyone, including dog owners and their pets.”
Cllr Patrick added: “I cannot stress strongly enough that this is a genuine consultation. We will not make a decision on how we might move forward before we have heard what people think of the proposals – what they think might work, what they think definitely won’t. If there are elements of the proposals that most people disagree with, we won’t move forward with them, it’s as simple as that.
“I hope in the last two weeks of the consultation, many more people will complete the questionnaire and we end up with as many responses as possible.”
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Published by Wirral Council News on Mon, 02 Jul 2018 http://www.wirral.gov.uk