By-law plan to keep dogs on leads in Victoria Park

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Town hall chiefs in St Helens could adopt a by-law forcing dogs to be kept on leads in one of the town’s most popular parks.

Councillors have considered a report on Victoria Park which outlined plans to protect the future of Victoria Park.

The introduction of any PSPOs must be evidence based and would be subject to consultation with all interested or affected parties. It could be applied to dog foul and compulsory keeping of dogs on leads

Business support manager Bernadette Latham

A review - produced by the council’s business support manager Bernadette Latham - drew up a number of recommendations for the park.

They include getting local businesses to sponsor park benches and picnic tables, as well as writing to local schools to encourage them to use the park’s facilities.

The report also proposes extending CCTV coverage to more areas of the park.

However, it is the recommendation to keep dogs on leads while in the park that is likely to prove most controversial.

The move is designed to combat the problem of dogs fouling in the park.

At present, patrols by council officials with the power to issue on the spot fines take place at least once a week.

There have been no instances of dog owners being fined and the report does not detail the extent of the dog fouling problem in the park.

The report, submitted to the council’s environment, regeneration, housing, culture and leisure overview panel, states: “Investigate the changes necessary to utilise public space protection order (PSPOs).

“The introduction of any PSPOs must be evidence based and would be subject to consultation with all interested or affected parties.

“It could be applied to dog foul and compulsory keeping of dogs on leads.

“There has been no significant progress to date on utilising PSPOs to tackle the compulsory keeping of dogs on leads in parks.”

No decision on whether or not this report and its recommendations has yet been reached.