Council plans ban on street drinking and dogs in playgrounds

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Are you worried about dangerous dogs, street drinking and anti-social behaviour in local open spaces?

Kirklees Council is hoping to make parks and public areas safer by imposing new protection orders which ban specified criminal activities.

Proposals include introducing controlled alcohol zones in Dewsbury and Batley town centres - meaning those caught drinking outdoors would have to leave the area or face arrest - and requiring dogs to be kept on leads in all council-managed parks, sports grounds, cemeteries and public highways.

Dogs could also be completely banned from children’s play areas, splash pools, tennis courts and games pitches maintained by the council.

Before the ideas are implemented, the council is running public consultation events to gather views from local residents. Drop-in sessions will be held at Batley Library on July 19 from 10am-12pm and Dewbury Library on July 20 from 1-3pm, and web users can also fill in an opinion questionnaire online during the eight-week consultation period.

The proposals would enable the council to invoke new government legislation and create Public Spaces Protection Orders in known trouble spots.

The orders are targeted at nuisance issues that are affecting residents’ quality of life, such as dog fouling or drug use. Anyone caught committing an offence covered by the order can face severe penalties such as heavy fines or court action.

Under the terms, council officers would have the power to enforce dog dirt removal rules if owners were caught allowing their pet to foul a public space, while animals would also have to be on leads less than two metres long and owners would be required to carry a disposal bag for dog mess.

Headteachers would also be able to ask council staff to enforce dog bans in their school grounds if they felt the safety of pupils was being put at risk by pets being brought into playgrounds.

To take part in the online consultation, visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/pspo or email comments to pspo@kirklees.gov.uk before the deadline of August 28.