Dogs have been banned from all enclosed children’s playgrounds in South Ribble as part of a crackdown on irresponsible owners.
All of the council owned playgrounds are dog free from today, as changes to current rules come into effect.
In a bid to combat irresponsible dog ownership and to keep the borough clean and safe, the council’s Dog Control Orders have also been extended to include more open spaces and parts of Worden Park.
The changes mean that all fenced off children’s playgrounds will be out of bounds for dogs and more green spaces will be included as areas where dogs must be kept on a lead - or irresponsible owners will face fines.
Dogs will still be allowed in Worden Park but must be kept on a lead in the Formal Gardens, the Maze, Rose Garden, Walled Garden and the Arts and Craft Centre Courtyards.
Current rules have also been extended to include six more enclosed children’s playgrounds that are now classed as dog exclusion areas. These are mainly play areas that have been created or extended since the last Dog Control Orders in 2009.
The changes also mean that five smaller green spaces, not large enough to be classed as dog exercise areas, will be included as places where dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Irresponsible owners who do not abide by these rules will be handed a fixed penalty notice of £75 and could end up in court if they fail to pay.
Cabinet member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and street scene, Coun Peter Mullineaux, said: “Our residents have told us that dogs are a big concern in the area and over the past few years we have really cracked down on the problem.
“By extending the current rules to include all enclosed children’s playgrounds, we are giving parents peace of mind that their children can play safely, but responsible dog owners can still enjoy our borough’s award-winning parks and green spaces.”
The council issued a total of 139 fixed penalty notices for dog-related offences during the last financial year and in September 2013 five owners were fined more than £1,500 for falling foul of the law.
Dogs found on roads, paths, grass verges, footways and car parks without a lead and no owner could be picked up as a stray and taken to kennels. Owners collecting their dogs will then be required to pay a £145 release fee or if not collected after seven days, the kennels will arrange for the dog to be rehomed.
Signs will be adjusted to advise residents of the changes. For full details on where the changes apply visit: www.southribble.gov.uk/dogs