Public Spaces Protection Order Variation Consultation: ownership of dogs and prohibition of smoking in certain places 2023

Closes 17 Apr 2023

Opened 16 Mar 2023

Overview

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is seeking to vary the Public Spaces Protection Order (Dog Control and Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places) 2022. We want to continue to promote responsible dog ownership and also to prohibit smoking in certain public spaces in the West Northamptonshire area. The council is now seeking to vary the Order to cover the Northampton Area and include the requirement to keep dogs on leads in Northampton town centre and also at Upton Country Park Phase 2.

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) allow councils to impose restrictions or requirements on public and some privately owned land to which the public have access to, with or without payment of a fee. A PSPO can deal with persistent and unreasonable nuisances and anti-social behaviour that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life for the local community in a particular area. They are intended to help ensure that the public can use and enjoy public spaces and can help to make West Northamptonshire a better and safer place to live, work and visit. 

Background 

In October 2022, WNC introduced a new PSPO across the Daventry and South Northants Areas. The Order promotes responsible dog ownership and requires no smoking in certain publicly accessible open spaces. 

The requirements and restrictions of the PSPO are summarised as follows. Anyone who is in control of a dog (or dogs) in a public place must: 

  • Pick up after the dog immediately 
  • Have the appropriate means to pick up after that dog 
  • Not take or allow the dog/s to enter the following: children’s play areas; schools when open and in use by pupils; skateparks; tennis courts; multi-use games areas (MUGAs) and bowling greens 
  • Keep the dog on a lead when in: Cemeteries; burial sites; graveyards; memorial gardens; allotments; car parks; sports grounds, fields, and pitches, when in use for authorised sporting activity; land near the café area at Daventry Country Park and near schools when open and in use by pupils 
  • Put the dog on a lead when requested to do so by an Authorised person 
  • Restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person to a maximum of 4 dogs at any one time. Consideration is being given to the development of a licensing scheme and associated code of conduct for professional dog walkers.

Additionally, the requirements and restrictions also cover: 

The smoking of tobacco, tobacco related products, smokeless tobacco products including electronic cigarettes, herbal cigarettes or any illegal substances is prohibited in the following areas:

  • Children’s play areas 
  • land outside school entrances and exits when open and in use by pupils 
  • skateparks 
  • tennis courts 
  • multi-use games areas (also known as MUGAs), and  
  • bowling greens.

A £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN) may be issued for failure to comply with any of the requirements or restrictions contained within the PSPO in line with the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, section 68(2). 

Note: A registered blind person, or a person with a disability affecting their mobility, manual dexterity or ability to lift, carry or move everyday objects and who relies upon a dog trained by a prescribed charity for assistance would be exempt from any Order.

We have produced some further information on the measures and proposals, you may wish to download this and have it open when you complete this consultation.

Gathering evidence 

There is a legal requirement for the council to have evidence to show the need for orders to be adopted, varied, or extended. The activities controlled by the PSPO need to have had, or be likely to have, an unreasonable and detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and are, or are likely to be, persistent and continuing in nature.

We are using this consultation to gather evidence and information.

How the feedback will be used 

The responses to this consultation will be collated and analysed, and will be used to help draft the variation to the Order which will then be published and taken to a Cabinet meeting for approval. Should the order be made by Cabinet, it will then be introduced across the entire West Northamptonshire Area with further communications and campaigns to support this.

The feedback we receive during this consultation can form part of the evidence we need to extend and vary the PSPO to cover the whole of West Northamptonshire for a maximum of 3 years, prior to this it will be reviewed.

How to share your views 

We are keen to hear from the public, interested parties and organisations.

We are inviting you to read further information about the measures and proposals and complete an online consultation questionnaire.

The consultation will close at midnight on Monday 17 April 2023. 

Your opinion is very important to us, so if you would like to have your say, please follow the link at the bottom of this page to view further information and complete the online survey.

You do not have to answer all questions if they do not apply, or you do not wish to. There is opportunity to provide comments within part of the survey.

For information about how consultation and engagement responses are managed, please see the consultation and engagement privacy notice.

Area maps

Maps of the areas the proposed varied PSPO would apply to:

Taking part in the consultation

We want to know how you feel about:

  • WNC extending the area covered by the Public Spaces Protection Order (Dog Control and Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places) 2022, to also cover the Northampton Area and,
  • Requiring dogs to be kept on leads in Northampton Town Centre, and Upton Country Park Phase 2.

We also want to know if you have been adversely affected by the following in the Northampton Area:

  • dog foul left in public places by irresponsible owners,
  • off lead and/or out of control dogs walked in public places or
  • the smoking of tobacco, tobacco related products, smokeless tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), herbal cigarettes or any illegal substances in the following public places; Children’s play areas; land outside school entrances and exits when open and in use by pupils; skateparks; tennis courts; multi-use games areas, and bowling greens.

The proposed varied Order would not apply to anyone who may use an assistance dog which has been trained to assist a person with a disability as defined under section 6 of the Equality Act 2010.

If you have any queries, comments or would like a copy of this questionnaire in another format (including paper, easy read, or large print) you can contact us by email or telephone. Our contact details are as follows: 

Email address: environmentalimprovement.ddc@westnorthants.gov.uk 

Telephone: 01327 302260 

Thank you for taking part.

Please give us your views

Interests

  • Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs)
  • Environmental health