Dog owners claim Hastings council ‘ignoring’ their views

Dog walkers in St Leonards Gardens
Dog walkers in St Leonards Gardens

The dog walking community says the council is ‘ignoring’ pet owners’ views over proposed dog control orders.

Hastings Borough Council (HBC) is currently exploring bringing in Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to tackle dog fouling and anti-social behaviour.

It held a four-week public consultation, which ended in March.

Dog owner Nicole Collomb said: “Last December, St Leonards dog walkers took a petition with 57 signatures to the council’s cabinet meeting, calling for an extension to the time dogs are allowed off the lead in St Leonards Gardens during the winter months. Despite a favourable response from councillors, five months later the council is now proposing to further limit the time dogs are allowed off the lead all year round in all parks in Hastings and St Leonards.

“It appears the community’s views are being ignored and the council has not checked the situation in each of the parks. The purpose of the proposed dog control order is to tackle dog fouling which is clearly an issue in some parts of the town but not in St Leonards Gardens.

“The dog owners who use this park are a friendly and sociable group. The proposed new dog control orders will put an end to this regular informal meeting up which for many provides really valuable social contact as they will require dogs to be on the lead by 8am when many can’t get there, in particular in winter when it is still dark.”

Council spokesman Kevin Boorman said HBC recently launched a campaign using posters and social media to tackle dog fouling and added a lot of residents called for the authority to clamp down on it more.

He said the authority has introduced Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) because it is required by law to manage irresponsible dog ownership through their use by October.

Mr Boorman added: “We have tried very hard not to be too draconian in our approach.”

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