Appleby residents are being called on to urgently voice their views on dog fouling on the town’s football pitch.
Eden District Council is facing criticism from Appleby Town Council and the town’s football club for not making them aware of a public consultation relating to dogs in community spaces throughout the district being under review — with the deadline for public responses 12noon tomorrow.
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are reviewed every three years and relate to banning dogs from some community spaces, requiring them to be on leads in others, and meaning owners can face fines for failing to clear up dog fouling.
However in Appleby members of the town’s football club have for years been pleading with Eden District Council to tackle the issue of dog fouling on the football pitch at the King George V playing fields.
The club recently called for a dog ban on the pitch after problems not only with excrement being left on the pitch but also dogs off the lead running at children as they trained — and gained support of over 300 signatures in a petition to the district council.
This club has been in regular contact with the council over the problem and urged them to review the PSPO on the King George V land.
At present the club is still under district council instruction to gather evidence of the dog fouling problem.
However despite this the football club was not informed of the review and only learned about it through posts on Eden District Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages on Wednesday evening — leaving less than 48 hours for the public to respond.
They are now appealing for residents to email the district council with their views.
Appleby Junior Football Club secretary Emma Wilson said: “We extremely disappointed we weren’t made aware of the public consultation and are appealing for people to email them.
“We want to reiterate that this isn’t just a problem for the football club it’s all users of the field that are facing these problems so it’s the whole community.
“This is a chance for change and we are urging the district council to extend the consultation period to give people a chance to comment.”
Appleby mayor Gareth Hayes said the town council had also not been notified of the review of the public consultation and levelled criticism at the district council.
“I’m really disappointed by the short time notice and renewal of the PSPOs when the issue of dog fouling on Appleby football pitch has been raised many, many times before.
“It’s time somebody took action and responsibility.
“I think Eden’s obligations have been lacking in understanding the public view.
“Personally I think it’s heading towards a dereliction of duty to take proper care for citizens of the town.”
The PSPOs under review apply to Eden District Council-owned land are require dogs to be on leads at Penrith’s Castle Park, allotment gardens at Folly Lane, James Street, Salkeld Road and Brackenber Court.
Also at cemeteries at Beacon Edge, Penrith; Foulord Rigg, Nenthead; The Firs, Alston; Bongate Cross, Appleby; and Low Houses, Garrigill.
Under the orders dogs are banned from Penrith’s Frenchfield sports pitches, Castletown recreation field and Coronation Garden.
Also from children’s play areas in Appleby, Bampton, Bolton, Clifton, Crosby Ravensworth, Great Asby, Kirkby Thore, Penrith, Laithes, Newton Reigny, Shap, Soulby, Tebay and Threlkeld.
Dog owners who breach the orders can face fixed penalty notices of £75 or magistrates’ court fines of up to £1,000.
Any resident or business owner who wishes to comment on the proposed orders should send their views via email to Eden Council by 12noon tomorrow — Friday 16th October.
A spokesman for Eden District Council said: “The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 applied a three year time limit to the councils existing dog control orders relating to dog fouling, dogs on leads and dog exclusion.
“The existing orders will expire on 19th October, 2019, where the council does not take action to extend them.
“In consideration of the continued problems with anti-social behaviour relating to dog control in the areas identified in the existing orders, the council has determined it necessary to extend the existing orders for a further period of three years under section 60 of the act.
“All necessary publication, necessary consultation and necessary notification have been carried out by the council in accordance with the act and having regard to the ‘no change’ impact of the proposed extension.
“The extension of the existing orders does not prevent a further review and variation, for example to include additional areas, but enables the council to continue to act in the interest of the amenity of local communities in those areas already listed beyond 19th October, 2020.
“The council has already received comments in response to the notifications placed in the paper and on its website.
“These responses are appreciated and will inform the need for further review and potential variations, which would be subject to wider consultation.”