Dog Walkers,  Industry News

West Northamptonshire Council considers licensing scheme for dog walkers

West Northamptonshire Council is considering developing a licensing scheme for dog walkers and an associated code of conduct to support these groups.

The move comes as the council consults on a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering the Northampton area, which makes it an offence for someone to walk more than four dogs at once in public spaces. However, the council says that requirement is not being enforced while conversations continue with representatives of professional dog walkers.

If the PSPO is implemented in dog walkers could soon be fined £100 for not picking up after pets and dispose of it properly and if they fail to carry the means to pick up after their dog.

It would also prevent dogs from entering public places from which dogs are excluded, such as play areas, schools, and some leisure facilities including skateparks, tennis courts, multi-use games areas, and bowling greens.

Dogs would also have to be kept on a lead when in Northampton Town Centre and Upton Country Park under the order.

In addition, the PSPO would make it an offence to smoke tobacco, tobacco-related products, smokeless tobacco products including electronic cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, or any illegal substances within the boundaries of play areas, land near schools, skateparks, tennis courts, multi-use games areas, and bowling greens.

Councillor David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory services, said: “This consultation provides an opportunity for people to provide us with their views on the proposed measures for public open spaces in the former Northampton borough.”

Residents, businesses, and other organisations can have their say on the proposed PSPO during a four-week consultation, which runs until 17 April.

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