The Parish Council has, over the last couple of years, been looking at ways to try to resolve the huge issues we have regarding dog fouling and dogs owners allowing their dogs to run freely on some areas of its land – Gotham Road Recreation Ground in particular and especially in view of the new play equipment having been installed and the possibility of outdoor exercise equipment being installed, subject to funding, on the Gotham Road Recreation Ground. There are safety issues to consider regarding dogs not on a lead and young children whilst sharing the play areas.
With this in mind, the Parish Council, some time ago started to consider whether to go down the route of ‘Dog Control Orders.’ The law in relation to the control of dogs was amended by Section 55 and 56 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 which permits the introduction of Dog Control Orders. The Dog Control Order replaces the previous system of byelaws for the control of dogs and also the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 which has been repealed. The Dog Control Order provides for five offences: failing to remove dog faeces; not keeping a dog on a lead; not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer; permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded and taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land.
We have met with advisors from Rushcliffe Borough Council to discuss the issues in relation to obtaining a Dog Control Order. Clearly there are several legal ‘hoops’ to be jumped through in order to obtain an Order, for instance the exact nature of what needs to be covered under the Order, its impact on present byelaws, the need to work with the district council, where the Order can be applied, advertising the proposed Order etc.
At the moment we feel that we would prefer to work with Rushcliffe Borough Council to instigate a campaign with various signs and notices displayed rather than go straight to a Dog Control Order. The Zone signs you have seen in the village are also in use at Rushcliffe Country Park so we are trying them here to see what responses we get and their effectiveness. To date, we have been pleasantly surprised at the number of dog walkers who support our attempts at zoning, the reasons why, and the directive to use other areas. We have produced maps clearly showing the areas where dogs can be let off leads – the number of those areas far exceed the number of areas where we are asking for the zone signs to be heeded.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to let us know your thoughts and constructive comments are very much appreciated.
Rest Garden Update
Progress on this project has been frustratingly slow. After the overgrown trees were removed last Autumn, it took some time to arrange to have the stumps ground out. Then we waited for some of the fencing around the old playground to be relocated to the side and back of the Rest Garden.
The remaining tasks for this phase of the work are:
- To dig over the area to the left of the path, where the trees were removed. If any resident would like to help with this, please feel free to do a bit of digging for us! There is a white bag for weeds and roots excavated. This work has to be completed before any of the following can commence.
- To seed the front section as a lawn.
- To plant around 50 colourful shrubs / plants in the remaining area. A specific day will be nominated for people to get involved in the planting.
- To install a shelter / seating area at the back of the Rest Garden.
- To resurface the path.
As you may know, we were successful in being awarded £10,000 for this project by Tesco’s Bags of Life scheme. This should cover the work already done and the costs of the remaining tasks.
Cllr Conrad Oatey
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