A SERIES of new restrictions have been put in place on dog owners.
Kirklees councillors yesterday approved four new orders that will be applied to public land.
Dogs will be banned from children’s play areas, ball parks and some playing fields.
And they must be placed on a lead while on public roads, pavements, footways, sports grounds, bowling greens, cemeteries and Castle Hill Local Nature reserve between March 1 and July 31.
Councillors made it clear that dogs will not be banned from parks but warned dog walkers will be fined if they do not put their dog on a lead when asked to by a warden.
This includes Beaumont Park, Greenhead Park, Crow Nest Park, Wilton Park and Ravensknowle Park.
Council officer Rob Dalby said: “During the consultation we asked people if they were dog owners.
“The overall impression from both non-dog owners and owners was strongly in favour of the orders.
“The only item that was questioned was the dog exclusion areas however this was still a majority – by about 60% to 40%.”
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “We want to make sure there’s access to sufficient public land for dogs to be exercised properly.
“There are still around 400 spaces that dogs can roam freely in.
“We are not banning dogs from parks, they can still go into parks, they are banned from children’s games areas across the borough.
“It is a very new approach towards dealing with the 2,000 complaints the council received of dog fouling.”
All land which is covered by Kirklees will be subject to a dog fouling order.
If dog walkers fail to comply with the orders, they could face a maximum penalty of £1,000 in magistrate’s courts.
However the offence of failing to clean up is set to be dealt with by a fixed penalty of £75 or £50 if paid within seven days.
One objection to the orders was sent into the cabinet via email. But Clr David Sheard suggested that it was quite clear the person making the complaint hadn’t read the proposals, believing dogs were to be banned from parks.
He continued: “As a dog owner, I don’t think it’s reasonable to scare people who are frightened of dogs and just want to spend the day walking in the park
“It is not unreasonable to have to put the dog on a lead and keep it under control.
“I’m totally in favour.”
The council have two weeks to action their decision.