Lewisham Council screws the pooch

Lewisham Council has done the right thing in the war on dog poo - deciding to supplement the schoolboy stink line stencils with a more muscular approach, that will involve spot fines of £75.

However, the policy is only half the battle, enforcement is also crucial and we hope to see some "crack units" lurking around, waiting to pounce on irresponsible owners.

Here's the release:

A new borough-wide order giving Lewisham Council extra powers to take action against irresponsible dog owners has been approved.New legislation, under Section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005) means that action and enforcement against people who do not comply with new rules can be taken. The new Dog Control Order was approved by the Mayor and Cabinet on 28 January.

Lewisham Council wants anyone who owns a dog to behave in a responsible manner, and the vast majority of people do. There are, however, a small number of people who do sometimes act irresponsibly. These are the people the Council will now be able to take action against, if they break the new regulations.

A new on-the-spot fine will come into effect from 6 April 2009 for anyone not complying with the new regulations, which will apply across the borough.

Lesley Seary, Executive Director for Customer Services, said: “The public has a right to walk around Lewisham without being afraid of uncontrolled dogs, or of stepping in dog faeces.“The adoption of the borough-wide order will enable us to take action against people who act irresponsibly by not controlling their dogs, or by allowing them to foul our footpaths and green spaces."

The adoption of a borough-wide Dog Control Order means that an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £75 will be issued if people with dogs:

- Fail to remove their dog’s faeces from a public place
- Do not keep their dog on a lead in a designated area such as a park or open space - these will be sign-posted in public areas
- Do not put, or keep their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officerPermit their dog to enter land to which dogs are excluded - these will be sign-posted
- Take more than 4 dogs onto land at any one time

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

only £75 ? ? ?

nobbly brick said...

Should be fun to see it enforced - I might spend more time on Hilly Fields now!

fred vest said...

"Take more than 4 dogs onto land at any one time"

a lucky escape for modern day noah's

nobbly brick said...

surely Noah would have just had two anyway

Graeme said...

In my experience the dogs on Hilly Fields are pretty well behaved, with responsible owners. (Or is the other way round?) I shuffle around HF fairly frequently wearing running kit, half expecting them to playfully chase me (the dogs, that is) but that's never happened.

Though the unstable woman who walks her Jack Russells in the cemetery still needs to be told that she can't let her dogs use the place as a toilet.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that its a £75 fine for pavement fouling, but a £1000 fine if I get caught dogging on hilly fields with my willy out.

The solution, if you find yourself in such a situation, is to drop your trousers and do a poo, and say "I did that" to the officer. You'll escape with the lesser fine.

fred vest said...

"surely Noah would have just had two anyway"

hence the lucky escape

nobbly brick said...

I see

drakefell debaser said...

The trouble is that some dogs require more exercise than walking will allow and unless the owner is prepared to run at a good pace next to it until it tires, the dog will suffer. Hopefully some open spaces will be left available for letting your hound free.

Will Lewisham be recruiting Dog Etiquette Enforcement Officers now?

Headhunter said...

Does that mean dogs have to be kept on leads in open park spaces such as Hilly Fields? How ridiculous! As DD says, some dogs, especially the larger types just can't get enough exercise just being walked on a lead once round the park, they need to be able to run

Tamsin said...

I gathered it was probably desginated open spaces and if there is any balance in the approach of the Council places like at least a large part of Hilly Fields and the Upper Park in Telegraph Hill wont be so designated.

Tressillian James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tressillian James said...

Delete Comment From: Brockley Central


Tressillian James said...
I hope it does not apply to Hilly Fields - I have a Welsh Collie (an ex-sheepdog) eri and he loves to run flat out. Dogs have a real postive effect on owners and I'd hate to see him suffer because of a perceived issue that hasn't manifested itself on Hilly Fields.

As for the poo fine - great - it should be double for cemeteries and streets.

I don't like the idea of the max 4 dogs thing - where's personal freedom? The guy who has a very controlled pack of retrievers (aka the dog man) and also the Jack Russell owner who has 5 of the little ones are going to be stuck for a place to exercise their dogs or have to leave one behind. I'm sure this regulation is to stop professional dogwalkers - but I can't help feeling that Lewisham have legislated where their isn't a problem

Tressillian James said...

I know 'there' not 'their'

Anonymous said...

agree totally re personal freedom James BUT i wonder...is the 4 dog max thing to prevent those guys who walk dogs for a living getting a whole collection together and going round with them?

I must say Im waiting for the day that the k9s all take off at once and those guys are sort of yanked along...like a cartoon...

tyrwhitt ali said...

Tresillian James, we call the dog man the dog-whisper in my house!

Miss Lovelace said...

I'd advise those f*ckers from Lewisham Council not to come near my beloved Mitzi, Daphne and Lulu..

Anonymous said...

Hooray! I really hope this can make a difference. I hate having to be extra vigilant and keep my eye on the floor to avoid dog crap. One time a dog fouled just outside my front gate and I had to clear it up (this was a massive deal for me as I don't even go running in certain areas because of dog fouling )

I know it is only a minority of people who don't clear up after their dogs and i have seen many people using poop scoops etc.... And I am sure that the majority of people are not as bothered by it as I am... Parks are for everyone so dog free areas are welcome for people like me. Hopefully everyone can be accomodated incl dogs (yuk)

Sue said...

No, you won't need to keep your dog on a lead in Hilly Fields, or most parks, only a small number of parks, such as Brookmill Park. However, if asked to put your dog on a lead by an enforcement officer and you fail to do so, you could be fined, I believe. Nick is right in that enforcement will be key to making these new powers work. Enforcement officers will be those trained up to issue the FPNs (fixed penalty notices) and will include the borough's 2 animal welfare officers, environmental enforcement officers, community wardens and, hopefully, the police. I think the success of the enforcement will be dependent on PCSOs also being able to issue the FPNs. Hopefully this is going to happen, but not confirmed yet. Other changes locally - the cemeteries were previously no dogs allowed, but the rule was not enforced. Now dogs will be allowed, but only on a lead. The original proposals were for a maximum of 6 dogs with one person, but as a result of responses to the public consultation, this was reduced to 4.

Anonymous said...

Still can't believe that the council are effectively ruling how many dogs someone can have: if you can't exercise them, you can't have them.

I also expect a flurry of fixed penalty notices at first; but let's hope it is not on a traffic-warden style incentive basis.

Really the whole thing about wardens telling people to put dogs on leads and the limit of dogs really does suck.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how public consultation is always used to justify this stuff? I imagine most dog owners will wonder when they were consulted. It was hardly a well advertised consultation, was it? Questions on public consultations are often loaded anyway. I can imagine: Do you thnk it is easier for one handler to control 6 or more dogs, or 6 or less?

I imagine tha the real issue here was the number of uncontrolled and neglected staffies. However, instead of tackling the real problem, we have an all encompassing range of rules and fines. Please at least tell me that the fines will be sent to Battersea Dog's Home.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
patrick1971 said...

"Still can't believe that the council are effectively ruling how many dogs someone can have"

The council isn't ruling how many dogs you can own, merely how many you can take out at one time, which is clearly a public safety issue. Apparently Clapham and Wandsworth Commons have suffered from professional dog walkers trying to take out up to fifteen dogs at a time, so well done Lewisham for nipping this in the bud before it even gets started.

One might also suggest that in a city like London, owning more than four dogs is pretty irresponsible anyway unless you live in a mansion.

And for those who say that some dogs need to run, yes, that's true; but then isn't the wider question whether it's cruel to keep them in a large city where they just don't have the chance to do that? There are always going to be a limited number of parks, and, for public safety reasons and public enjoyment reasons (not everyone loves having dogs running around!) access to the parks there are is often going to be curtailed.

Not Proper Brockley said...

FYI:

The council wardens, animal welfare units and various housing providers will soon be running Dog Awareness days around the borough. There will be one on the Honor Oak estate (Turnham Road) on the 25th Feb during the day. More info on the series as I get it.

They may well be spraying some more of the yellow stencils too! BEST!

Anonymous said...

When I told friends who live outside of London about the stencils, they pissed themselves laughing.

Oh and when I told them about the furore surrounding Speedicars' sign, the 2nd ramp by the station, the betting shop...

Anonymous said...

Maybe there should be stencils showing urinating people where your 'friends' live. There seems to be a serious incontinence problem.

Brockley Central Label Cloud