10/05/2024 - Permalink

Information about new dog constraints Public Spaces Protection Order

Related topics: Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

Proposals were made to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in October 2023 to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Shropshire to help tackle dog fouling and nuisance, in response to public complaints.

Following an eight-week public consultation into the proposals, a small number of amendments were made, and Shropshire Council’s Cabinet has recently agreed to introduce the PSPO. The order was made on Wednesday 17 April 2024 and is now subject to an appeal period of six weeks before it can come into force on Saturday 1 June 2024.

To appeal under Section 66 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, you must apply to the High Court within six weeks of the PSPO being made (17 April 2024). The order may be challenged in the High Court by anyone who lives, works in, or regularly visits the PSPO area.

There are two grounds on which the application to appeal against can be made:

  1. The local authority was not empowered to issue the order, modify it, or add specific restrictions or conditions set by the order.
  2. The PSPO requirements under the statute was not compiled with in relation to the order.

The High Court can suspend or stop the PSPO if it believes the local authority were not empowered to make or vary the PSPO. https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/administrative-court

As per the order:

  • The PSPO will enable Shropshire Council and the police to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 – or £50 if paid within 10 days – to owners who allow their animal to foul pavements and public amenity spaces without clearing up afterwards.
  • Dogs will also be excluded from fenced play and sports areas.
  • Dogs will be required to wear a lead on the highway.
  • Officers will also have the power to ask for a dog to be put on a lead in public areas where they are not under control of their owner or are acting aggressively.

Exemption from the order

The order will not apply to a person who:

  • Is registered as a blind person in a register compiled under section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948.
  • Has a disability which affects their mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination, or to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a prescribed charity upon which they rely for assistance.
  • If the dog is a working dog, including dogs that are being used for work in connection with emergency search and rescue, herding or sheep herding animals, law enforcement and the work of the armed forces. These exemptions will only apply whilst the dog is working.

An Equalities and Social Inclusion Health Impact Assessment has been completed and anticipates a positive impact across the protected characteristic groupings and across the county, due to health and wellbeing benefits for everyone in the community, if there is less dog fouling as a result of this policy being implemented.

Education campaign

The PSPO will be implemented with a public education and information campaign advising on heath considerations, the impact of dog nuisance and the reasons for enforcement action. The campaign will aim to educate and encourage pet owners to act responsibly.

Report a dog-related concern/issue

If you have any dog-related concerns or would like to report an issue, please report directly to Shropshire Council via one of the routes below:

  1. Report on Shropshire Council’s website using this link
  2. Call the Customer Service Centre on 0345 678 9006.
  3. Report via the FixMyStreet mobile app.