Public Spaces Protection Order (Dover District Council) 2015
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East Kent Mercury, Thursday 27th October 2016
(read the 2015 background here)
Deal's most celebrated landmark is littered with dog mess, yet there are no plans to reverse the decision to allow the animals on the Pier.
This week keen photographer Tony Friend, of Park Street, repeated his claim that there was "no room" for the pets on the Pier because careless owners did not pick up after them. He witnessed a woman push her pram through a pile of mess left by somebody else, spreading it along the pathway. He now plans to send photographs to the council as part of his mission to ban the animals. Mr Friend says:
"It's ridiculous. I like dogs but let's get them back off the Pier. If there is nobody watching, people do not pick up after their dogs. It's the attendants who have to clean it up."
Dogs on leads have been allowed to walk on the Pier since July 2015 after the introduction of a new Public Spaces Protection Order. Mr Friend, who first spoke out about the issue in August last year, added:
"It's not fair on people who take their children on there. The Pier always used to be a nice place to walk. You didn't need to worry about it. Now you have to dodge the piles of poo."
Attendants are keeping a "log book" (sic) of incidents, it is understood. Spokesman Kevin Charles said:
"There are no plans to reverse our decision to permit dogs on leads on Deal Pier. Instances of dog fouling anywhere are unpleasant and we would urge owners to act responsibly and clear up after their dogs. Regular patrols are made in the area. Anyone found guilty of an offence of dog fouling can be issued with a fixed penalty notice - currently a £75 fine."
For more information, to report offenders or request a patrol, visit dover.gov.uk/dogfouling.
The Deal Dog Community group, which has 1,200 members, has produced a set of rules for dog owners using the Pier which have been approved by the council's Environmental Team and Dover Property Services.
They ask that people ensure their pets have done their business before entering the Pier and that they clean up after them, with waste bags available from the attendants if needed. Bags should be disposed of in the red bin located on the Pier Approach.
Anglers fears on pet safety
Angler Steve Holland fishes on Deal Pier once a week and has only ever seen one pile of dog's mess. He is less concerned about dog fouling and more worried about safety. The fisherman from Sittingbourne has fished on Deal Pier once a week for more than 20 years. He says he has only ever seen one incident when a dog owner has not cleaned up after a pet but does worry about the animals' safety, especially when they are on long leads. He said:
"They can just veer off away from their owners and you don't know what they're going to do. I also worry about dogs when we're casting our rods. You look carefully for people but if a dog is on a long lead you could miss it."
Another angler, who did not want to be named, is also against dogs on the Pier. He has been visiting Deal Pier once or twice a week for more than 50 years and said:
"Every dog owner I see does clear it up but I don't think dogs should be on here. I'm fightened that before long a dog will pick up a hook and there's going to be a row. We're very carfeul but occasionally a hook does get discarded and if a dog does pick one up, who will be to blame ?"
East Kent Mercury, Thursday 24th September 2015
"The comment by DDC that they are not aware of any issues should read the daily reports issued by their employees from the pier office, where they will see that the pier attendants have been having trouble with youths throwing stones onto the pier from the beach (example, one broken window last evening).
Also, the pier attendants are constantly reporting anti-social behaviour to the relevant authorities i.e. their employer DDC, the police and CCTV control.
Also, I feel that the change of by-law allowing dogs on the pier is wrong, especially as there is no one to pick up the mess left by inconsiderate owners."
East Kent Mercury, Thursday 21st August 2015
"Regarding dogs, the beach and the pier, all dog lovers will welcome the new freedoms granted to pets and owners.
However, I would like to know how we are expected to know when our pet will go to the loo ? After all, we can't give such a command, as I feel it might be ignored by even the most intelligent of our 'best friends'.
Furthermore, I suspect all mammals, and in particular animals and humans, would find such a scheme quite impractical in every day circumstances. Also, suppose he or she wished to go for a second time."
Clifford Gardens, Deal
East Kent Mercury, Thursday 13th August 2015
KentOnline, Saturday 15th August 2015
There's not room for dogs on Deal Pier - that's the view of one resident who is becoming frustrated with careless pet owners.
Following the introduction of Dover District Council's new Public Spaces Protection Order on Monday, July 27, dogs on leads are now entitled to walk along the landmark. Since then Tony Friend, a keen photographer who walks along the pier two or three times a day, has witnessed a number of incidents. He said:
"I've seen dogs wee up the seats, I've seen them walk along the seats and I've seen a couple of loads of poo. There was one woman, somebody had to shout at her to pick it up. She didn't even have a bag, she was just going to leave it there. I'm not against dogs but there's not room for them on the pier. Something's got to be done now before it gets too bad."
To keep the peace with the public and anglers, Deal Dog Community, which has almost 1,000 members, produced a set of rules for dog owners using the pier, which were been passed by the council's Environmental Team and also Dover Property Services. They ask that people ensure their pets have been to the toilet before entering the pier and that they clean up after them, with waste bags available from the attendant's office if needed.
Despite their best efforts, the attendants who man the landmark are being forced to pick up the pieces for careless dog owners. They are now keeping a logbook of incidents.
One attendant, who the Mercury is not naming, explained that if there is an episode it can involve several trips up and down the pier to get bags or disinfectant, which for some of them is a struggle. He also highlighted the fact the council has provided a new dog bin at the entrance of the pier but some but some people are still using the normal bins on the pier, which the attendants have to empty. A Dover District Council spokesman said:
"We continue to work to address issues of dog fouling across the district, and we would remind dog owners to pick up after their pets. We do regularly clean the pier, and there are litter bins along the pier and a dog bin and we would urge people to use them. However, we will look into this matter. We would stress that it is an offence for any person in charge of a dog not to pick up after their pet. DDC Enforcement Officers do patrol across the district, and where they witness such offences, we will take appropriate enforcement action."
For more information, or to report offenders or request a patrol, visit Dog-Fouling.
East Kent Mercury at page 40, Thursday 6th August 2015
Deal & Walmer Chamber of Trade
The Chamber is receiving complaints about the new dog waste bin by the pier.
The pier is the most iconic feature of Deal's landscape and the most photographed.
But now a large bright red bin has appeared, fixed in front of the southern entrance, which makes it difficult to take in a view of the entrance statue or flowers without also seeing this new carbuncle.
And as the picture shows, its intended purpose is being abused with even more advers visual impact.
The Chamber had the huge water quality sign, which was briefly planted in the flower beds, moved somewhere less obtrusive and would like to do the same with this bin.
Suggestions for alternative locations welcome.
East Kent Mercury at page 24, Thursday 6th August 2015
"Freedom to walk dogs on the pier must be accompanied by appropriate responsibility."
"In just one weekend owners were spotted precariously holding a dog over the railings, so it could see the sea presumably; another allowed his dog to pee all over the gate post by the pier attendant's office and another lady's dog pooped on the main walkway. There it would have stayed if someone hadn't called her back to clear it up. She didn't even have a bag with her so had to take one from a fisherman. She then put it in the ordinary litter bin on the pier leaving it for the pier staff to take away, after they'd washed away the pee outside their office."
"The pier staff are not employed to clean up after dogs and dog owners must not be allowed to impair the enjoyment of the pier by other users."
Park Street, Deal
Kentonline, Thursday 30th July 2015
The new Public Spaces Protection Order regarding access for dogs has now been implemented across the district. The order, which came into play on Monday and which expires in three years, creates a unified approach to such issues as dog fouling, keeping dogs on leads and excluding dogs from specified areas. Many previous rules still apply, such as dogs must be kept on leads at all times on the promenade and off the beach between May and September between 9 am and 8 pm, from Sandown Castle to Deal Castle.
But some new guidelines have been put in place including dogs on leads being permitted on Deal Pier for the first time in 177 years. A set of rules has been compiled for dog owners using the Pier, which have been approved by the Environmental Team and Dover Property Services that run and maintain the Pier. A dog owner said:
"This is Deal Dog Community offering an olive branch to anglers to show how we can work together."
When using the Pier, dog owners are required to
- keep their pets on short leads
- ensure they have been to the toilet before entering the Pier
- clean up after them (waste bags are available from the Pier Attendant's office)
- refrain from taking them on the lower deck
- ensure they have left before dark
For full details of the PSPO click here
Dogs will now be allowed on Deal Pier under the Council's new Public Spaces Protection Order. The news has been heralded by dog owners who campaigned against an unpopular consultation at the end of last year which could have prohibited Man's Best Friend from many places. Deal Dog Community, founded by dog owner Steven Colburn, is delighted with the Council's decision. He said:
"All the things we've fought for, we've kind of got. It was a long time coming. The Pier is just unbelievable. It's an added extra. We're going to do something to mark it."
The orders replace outdated legislation relating to fouling and dog control affecting those in Deal and Walmer, St Margaret's and Dover. Many previous rules still apply, meaning dogs must be kept on leads at all times on the promenade and off the beach between May and September between 9am until 8pm, from Sandown Castle to Deal Castle. They are banned from a number of children's play areas and cemeteries, except for some, like St George's and St Leonard's in Deal, which are no longer used. Dogs must be kept on leads on Walmer Green from May 1 to September 30 between the hours of 9am and 8pm.
The new Order gives powers to PCSOs to instruct a person responsible for a dog to put and keep it on a lead. Any breach could now result in a fine of £75 instead of £50, or up to £1,000 upon prosecution if refused.
It comes into force on Monday, 27th July 2015. The laws are very similar to those enforced in Cornwall and Thanet.
Mr Colburn, who is also responsible for the amendment regarding Walmer Green, added: "It's just a great way to promote Deal."
A spokesman said:
"The proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (Dover District Council) 2015 was discussed and agreed, with amendment, at this week's Cabinet and Scrutiny (Policy & Performance) committee meetings. The minutes of the meetings will be available in due course. The Order will be published on the DDC website in due course."
Editor's note: anglers were neither informed nor consulted about the proposed Public Spaces Protection Order the provisions of which conflict with Deal Pier bye-law 9(ii) which bans all dogs - save for guide dogs - from the Pier:
9. (ii) No person shall bring a dog, cat or other domestic animal on to the Pier provided that this bye-law shall not apply to a blind person accompanied by a guide dog.
There are very considerable angling-related health and safety risks and issues arising from the proposed Public Spaces Protection Order and the Council has yet to explain why dogs are now to be permitted on the Pier having been banned from the Pier since 1838. Unless and until bye-law 9(ii) is repealed, it will continue to be unlawful for any person to bring a dog (except a guide dog) on to the Pier. However, it is understood that the Council's legal advisors are of the view that the provisions of the Council's new Public Spaces Protection Order take precedence over Bye-law 9(ii).