Dogs to be banned from play areas across Wigan

Dogs will be banned from play areas in parks across the borough in a bid to crackdown on owners who refuse to clean up after their pets.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:14 am
Thelma the therapy dog with St Thomas' CE Junior and Infant School pupils, headteacher Joanne Woods, Coun Susan Gambles, Coun Yvonne Klieve  and Coun Gena Merrett
Thelma the therapy dog with St Thomas' CE Junior and Infant School pupils, headteacher Joanne Woods, Coun Susan Gambles, Coun Yvonne Klieve and Coun Gena Merrett

Wigan Council is proposing to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in dog fouling hotspots which mean dogs are not allowed to be walked on children’s play areas and sports pitches, and must be kept on their leads in defined areas.

PSPOs are proposed around play areas in the following public parks; Haigh Hall, Pennington Flash, Mesnes Park, Jubilee Park, Central Park/Morley St Park, Leyland Park, Abram Park, Pennington Hall Park, Ashfield Park, Shevington Park, Astley St Park, Alexandra Park, Firs Park and Westleigh Park.

While the days are shorter and the temptation to not pick up dog mess is higher, the council is asking residents to be responsible for any mess their dog leaves.

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As part of the initiative, called ‘Paws and Pick It Up’ the council will be releasing bag dispensers and torches to aid pet owners when they are out, especially at night.

In The Big Listening project residents said they wanted clean and green communities they could be proud of.

The council’s Our Town campaign is committed to tackling environmental issues and ensuring the town remains cleaner and more attractive to residents.

On average, the costs for dealing with dog-related complaints, dog fouling removal, education and enforcement costs the council approximately £150,000 annually.

Coun Paul Prescott, cabinet member for environment, said: “While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible people who pick up after their pets, there is still a small minority who leave the mess behind in places where children play.

“The latest feedback from residents tells us that dog fouling is a priority in the borough and one they would like to see addressed.

“It is every dog owner’s duty to clean up after their dog. There are no excuses, fouling is unacceptable.”

A recent consultation which attracted just short of 500 responses found that the vast majority were in favour of dog fouling enforcement across public land and for owners to always have poo bags at the ready anytime they walked their pooch.

If approved next month, the promotional items will be available to residents at libraries across the borough but are on a first come, first served basis.

Residents can always report instances of dog fouling via the Report It app. For more information, visit https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Environmental-Problems/Dogs/Dog-fouling.aspx