Council to review dog laws

THE COUNCIL is reviewing legislation on controlling dogs because it is too complicated and not enforceable.

New proposals about where dogs are allowed and where they should be on leads are being put out to consultation.

The rules, put forward by Scarborough Borough Council, will see dogs continue to be banned from the cemetery, Pannett Park and White Leys playing fields in Whitby at all times and parts of the beach during the summer.

Restrictions concerning Byland Road junior playground have been removed but dogs are to be on leads on certain parts of the promenade at Whitby, Runswick Bay and Staithes, Crescent Gardens, Ellerbeck Way play ground, gardens between Kyhber Pass and East Crescent, Helredale Recreation Ground and Kingfisher Recreation Ground, Larpool Lane playing fields, Lowdale Lane, Marton Court Amenity area, Muncaster Way and Saxon Road play areas, South Seas garden, Tate Hill beach and the West Cliff sports ground.

Some new locations have been added to the list. They are Ingham Play Park and Lowdale Lane Sportsfield at Sleights following complaints from the trustees of the sports facility about uncontrolled dogs and dog fouling.

Legislation also means dogs have to be on leads when they are being walked on the following streets – Bagdale, Baxtergate, The Bridge, Bridge Street, Castle Road, Chubb Hill, Church Street, Helredale Road, High Stakesby, Love Lane, Mayfield Road, North Promenade, North Terrace, Prospect Hill, St Hilda’s Terrace, Skinner Street, Spring Vale, Upgang Lane and White Point Road.

It was decided to review the rules after dog warden services went back in house at SBC in 2009 and it became apparent there was a mixture of orders and laws under dog control acts, environmental acts and road traffic acts.

Different laws covered the same thing and the council was unable to sanction financial penalties because the law was too complicated to enforce and it was difficult for the public to understand.

If given the go-ahead there will be four basic rules administered under the Cleaner Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005 where owners can be liable for failing to remove dog faeces, not keeping dogs on leads, permitting dogs to enter land they are excluded from and not putting and keeping dogs on a lead when directed to do so by an officer.

In a report put to senior councillors SBC says: “The controls have been introduced in several tranches over many years. This has resulted in a considerable number of separate byelaws and orders applying to over a hundred defined areas of land and dog fouling restrictions being enforced under two separate pieces of legislation.

“In addition the use and nature of a number of the current byelaws has changed since they were introduced making enforcement of byelaws on these areas difficult or not appropriate.”