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£1,000 fine for not keeping your dog on a lead? – it could happen in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 November 2018

Dogs must be kept on leads on Felixstowe seafront - now people are being asked if the rules should apply to the seafrontparks and gardens Picture: SU ANDERSON

Dogs must be kept on leads on Felixstowe seafront - now people are being asked if the rules should apply to the seafrontparks and gardens Picture: SU ANDERSON

It is being considered because Suffolk Coastal says the community has asked for the new restrictions in the resort’s seafront parks and gardens.

Felixstowe's restored Edwardian gardens on the seafront funded by the National Lottery Picture: PHILIP JONESFelixstowe's restored Edwardian gardens on the seafront funded by the National Lottery Picture: PHILIP JONES

But what do you think?

The council is asking people’s opinions before it makes a final decision early next year.

The resort already has rules for dogs on leads on the prom and dogs are banned from the beach between the Spa Pavilion and Arwela Road from May 1 to September 30. Under the proposed changes, dogs would also have to be kept on leads in areas including Martello Park and the award-winning and nationally-important Spa Gardens. The fine for failing to comply would be up to £1,000.

Steve Gallant, council cabinet member for community health, said: “This is not about Suffolk Coastal District Council wanting to bring in draconian restrictions on dogs or their owners.

Dogs are a regular feature of the weekly Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: FELIXSTOWE PARKRUN FACEBOOK PAGEDogs are a regular feature of the weekly Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: FELIXSTOWE PARKRUN FACEBOOK PAGE

“We are carrying out this consultation in response to local communities asking for additional controls in specific areas to allow everyone to enjoy the amenities.

“Suffolk Coastal is a dog-friendly district and we recognise that most dog owners are incredibly responsible about where they walk their dogs, and cleaning up after their pets. However, the local communities feel there are certain areas where dogs should be controlled and kept on leads.

“We have a legal duty to consider these requests and also consult with the wider public, before making any decision. I would encourage people to take this opportunity to have their say on these draft proposals, so we can make our final decision based on a clear consensus of public opinion.”

The six-week consultation starts today (Monday, November 12) and seeks views on a series of new dog control orders contained in Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).

The orders propose that dogs should be kept on leads within Martello Park, Felixstowe Town Hall Gardens and Felixstowe Seafront Gardens between Bent Hill and Bath Hill, while dogs would be excluded from the children’s play area inside Langer Park, though not the rest of the park.

The council says the orders are needed to “prevent a detrimental effect on the quality of life” of the users of the areas.

Once made, a PSPO makes it an offence for any person to fail to comply with it. The maximum penalty in the magistrates’ court is £1,000, but the offence may be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice of £80 issued by the police or a council officer.

The consultation runs until Friday, December 21 and people can give their views via a survey form on Suffolk Coastal’s website, emailing environment@eastsuffolk.gov.uk or by writing to PSPO Consultation, c/o Environmental Protection, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, Suffolk, IP12 1RT.

The district council’s cabinet will make a decision in the new year.

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