Consultation for Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Dog Control

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A six week consultation was carried out via Survey Monkey from 2 December 2016 – 15 January 2017 to gauge public opinion on the proposals.

The survey included questions on each specific area/order proposed as well as the opportunity to add free text commentary. It was circulated to key interest groups and organisations including but not limited to the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA, local licensed boarding facilities, Vets, Parish Councils, Lancashire County Council and Duchy of Lancaster, all Fylde Councillors and Staff, all interested parties who had previously contacted the Council regarding the PSPO proposals and relevant service requests (106). The consultation link was also promoted via the Council Website, Social Media, Regional TV and Radio, Local Newspapers and via the Dog Enforcement Wardens who handed out 187 consultation link cards to interested individuals; paper versions of the survey were available on request (7 returned and inputted electronically).

In total 1,996 consultation responses were received: 1319 from residents, 390 from non-residents (362 regular visitors), 241 from Fylde business owners, 22 from professional dog walkers and 1,105 from dog owners. 948 respondents added commentary under the free text section.

In total 114,547 words were reviewed and the commentary was categorised into the following themes: Enforcement (217), Dog Welfare (124), Economy (110), Confusion over proposals (75), Number of dogs (72), Professional dog walkers (66), Elderly or disabled concerns (48) and Health and Environment (30). 533 responses objected to the proposals, 301 supported the proposals and 181 included general statements and comments both in support and against the proposals. Detailed responses were also received from the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust.

The Elected Member PSPO Working Group held an initial meeting on the 24th January to consider the consultation results and all supporting feedback. Their recommendations have not been finalised as yet as there is a need for further consultation with the Kennel Club, Natural England, Town and Parish Councils and representatives from the local professional dog walker community.

The final recommendations will then be presented to a future meeting of the Operational Management Committee for debate and decision on the implementation of any potential PSPOs for dog control. The Operational Management Committee originally approved a recommended implementation date of 1st June 2017 for any potential PSPOs that may be agreed. Given the level of interest shown in the consultation and the length of time required to consider all feedback and suggestions received, it will be recommended that the implementation of any agreed PSPOs be delayed until a later date, to be decided by the committee, in order to give officers sufficient time to effectively communicate proposed changes to all dog walkers, residents, visitors, businesses and organisations that may be affected by the changes.