Dog walkers will be kept on tight leash by council
DOG walkers in Cleeve are celebrating being allowed to let their pets off their leads – but a crackdown is coming in other parts of North Somerset.
North Somerset Council has been considering introducing a raft of new dog controls across the district, including one where dogs must be kept on leads at the King George VI playing fields.
The playing fields – popular with dozens of dog owners in the village – is owned by Fields in Trust.
Trustees approached the authority around eight months ago regarding the introduction of a dogs-on-lead order following complaints about the levels of dog mess left on the field.
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But following consultation with residents, plans to introduce the new legislation has been put on hold.
Currently there are 48 dog control orders in force across North Somerset and the changes will see an additional 22 introduced.
These range from keeping dogs on leads to banning them completely from recreational areas and open spaces. Those who break the regulations face a £75 fixed penalty fine.
As a result of the consultation, dogs will be banned completely from areas including Banwell recreation grounds, Tickenham village hall fields, Winscombe Rugby Football Club and recreation ground and Portbury Ponds.
Dogs will have to be kept on leads at Coleridge Vale playing fields and Clevedon promenade and at Nailsea Grove playing fields, Clarence Park West in Weston-super-Mare and Portishead Marina.
Plans to introduce new legislation to ensure dogs are kept on leads at recreational areas at Engine Lane, Fryth Way and Greenfield Crescent in Nailsea have been put on hold – for now.
The Cleeve news comes after a consultation revealed 78 per cent of the 178 people who responded were against the change.
The news has been welcomed by local dog walkers who launched a petition against the proposed order.
Dog owner Carol Ketley, 67, said: "This is good news. A lot of people use the fields to walk their dogs and everyone I know cleans up after their pets. It's rare that I ever see any dog mess on the fields, but if I do, I pick it up and so do other people. The playing fields should be a facility for the whole village to enjoy."
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "The council needs to balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interest of those affected by the activities of dogs.
"The council needs to bear in mind the need for people, in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas and areas where dogs are kept under strict control. The council needs to bear in mind the need for those in charge of dogs to have access to areas where they can exercise their dogs without undue restrictions."