Dog Owners Who Don’t Clean Up After Pets Could Face £1,000 Fine

A dog poo bin at Porthcressa beach

A dog poo bin at Porthcressa beach

Councillors have voted unanimously to introduce tough new penalties for dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

The so-called Public Spaces Protection Order was agreed at the recent Full Council meeting, following a public consultation with islanders earlier this year.

Under the new order, dog owners could face a fine of up to £1,000 if they fail to clean up or dispose appropriately of dog faeces produced by their pet.

The new rules will apply to the whole of the islands apart from Tresco.

A number of other offences have also been included in the order.

Dogs will be officially excluded from certain public areas, such as the beaches in Hugh Town, The Park, The Five Islands School play areas, and parts of Garrison Field.

And dogs will need to be kept on a lead in Hugh Town’s main streets and the islands’ churchyards.

Councillors Andrew Coombes and James Francis both expressed concern that the whole of Garrison Field had originally been included in the order.

They said tmany dog owners they knew where against this, particularly if they wanted to walk their pets while taking their children to the Garrison play area.

But Strategic Development Manager Diana Mompoloki said parts of the field could be opened up to dogs to allow people to access the area around the pirate ship play frame.

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough wanted to know how the order would be enforced, particularly if dog owners became “awkward” and refused to give their details.

Ms Mompoloki said the enforcement officer will be carrying a video camera and will start filming as soon as they start to enforce an order.

“If they don’t cooperate at that point we will call the police,” she told councillors, “because it will become a more serious issue than a fixed penalty notice.”

Council Chairman Amanda Martin wanted clearer wording in the order to include pet owners who didn’t dispose of faeces in the appropriate way.

Amanda complained about “disgusting and ugly bags that are left adorning our bushes and trees like Christmas decorations.”

She said she was “horrified” on a recent walk around Peninnis after ferns had been cut back to see “the whole field changed colour to black.”

Cllr James Francis felt the problem was a lack of dog bins in the right places, but Cllr Martin responded that the provision was “already quite good” and Ms Mompoloki said they could only install bins near the usual dustcart rounds.

Cllr Christine Savill wanted the Duchy to support the order on the off-islands “at least by providing the bins.”

She welcomed the new rules, saying it’s “something our community fully supports” and “if there’s no change, it will come back to bite us.”

13 Responses to Dog Owners Who Don’t Clean Up After Pets Could Face £1,000 Fine

  1. Neil August 25, 2016 at 2:04 am

    There are some places that get DNA samples of every dog (on the island) and then when excrement is found, it can be DNA typed and the owner (if on island) contacted and fined. It would be easy to set this up on Scilly…I know apartment buildings that require it of owners and it has solved the problem.

    • A Martian August 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

      My what a brave new world we live in.
      Is it possible that there is just a whiff of the diversionary tactic associated with the council pursuing this issue? Could it be that whilst this matter is pushed to the forefront attention is diverted away from the whiffy morass that has been substituted for management by a beleaguered chairman and her hand picked motley crew?
      Dog mess is no joke however this council has much more pressing issues that are long overdue for attention.

  2. John Whapshott August 15, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    The problem with this idea as it stands is that you can’t have an enforcement officer everywhere, especially on the islands that are not St Mary’s. So I have 2 proposals:
    1. The Council introduces a reward scheme, whereby everyone who informs on a dog owner who doesn’t clear up their dog’s poo gets, say, £100 of the total £1,000 fine. Disposable cameras would be available so that the informant can provide evidence.
    2. Why not have cctv everywhere? You could then cover all the islands simply, and it would only take one or two people to operate the cameras and monitors from a central position, presumably on St Mary’s. The cost of the equipment and staff would be paid for by the fines levied.
    I feel sure that, if implemented, these proposals will vastly improve the visitor experience, and the quality of life for the residents.

    • Timothy August 15, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Why John what a spiffing idea, what is more the CCTV could be monitored by Cornwall as well and then along with legal services, information technology and local authority finance the jobs can leave the Islands for good; after all it isn’t as though this council feels it has any responsibility for the local economy far from it.

    • Hugh Towner August 15, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      …Hasn’t anyone noticed?!…the Strategic Envelopment Department has already built a giant watch-tower on the hill to centrally monitor the doggy-do situation and to coordinate the response teams. Parading as an airport, it snuck right past the planning committee. Even more sinister, there is a team preparing to administer smart grid technology to islanders… Don’t expect mercy!

  3. Adam Morton, St.Martins August 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I hope people realise that every bylaw created , also creates a new job for an enforcement officer. That enforcement officer cannot possibly be everywhere at all times any more than the police could catch the petrol thief!We see the same thing with the IFCA and proposed bylaws. It doesn’t change anything, it can’t be effective but it enables the LA to demand money to support its staff. Consequently there is no pot left for so called services. It does not and never will have anything to do with environmental protection or the supply of services to the public. We could turn a blind eye to it if council officers fought with equal vigor to secure benefits to those outside the town hall but sadly they aren’t elected , don’t need our support and few councilors seem to have the backbone to hold them to account even if they knew what that account was!
    I note the chairman’s disgust at the ““the whole field changed colour to black.”. This highlights only the stupidity of the public and the futility of this approach, clearly the “black bags” have been used merely to remove the mess from the path and were it not in a plastic bag it would have decomposed naturally within days. A plastic beach spade could have done the job just as well and not left the council with the expensive problem of disposal. I also note Councillor Savills comment “something our community fully supports” and “if there’s no change, it will come back to bite us.”.”fully supports” is clearly untrue as it was not universal!Thanks for wasting our taxes on this useless piece of legislation whilst you fail to to even provide hand washing water in our islands public toilets!!!!!!

  4. Ewart Less August 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    It is a great shame that there is not legislation that compels our lack lustre members to clear up the mess made by their officers, dog mess pales into insignificance by comparison. The cost of the turmoil generated by madam and her management team will be a legacy for council tax payers to clean off their shoes for very many years to come.

    • Hugh Towner August 15, 2016 at 11:30 am

      ..Agreed ! I’m not sure which is more emblematic of the contempt that the council have for the public, that members approved the PSPO despite it not being in final form yet, or that officers feel it is necessary to equip the dog warden with a video camera to record his interactions with the public. The latter seems entirely at odds with what I know about Scilly and the island community.

  5. Legal Dog August 11, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Insidious legislation which will, hopefully, be overturned throughout the country, whether it is used for dog fouling or any of the other examples listed. Leaving dog foul in public places is already an offence. Regular dog warden patrols, not the creation of a PSPO is the only way to prevent this from happening.

    There is a very well behaved elderly dog in Hugh Town that regularly walks off the lead without straying away from its owner. The law requires the owner to have their dog under control. It is not for the council to decide whether a lead is required for that. To do so is ultra vires.

  6. Peter Corbett (regular visitor) August 10, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    GOOD!!!!! Though some regret if Town Beach is included in the year round ban. Our dogs love that beach and we ALWAYS clean up after them. How you catch those who chuck their poo bags in the trees I don’t know – maybe the answer is more bins and find another method of collecting the waste rather than using the dust cart? Other local authorities do.

    • High Lanes Drifter (regular contributor) August 15, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      I find it amazing that the Dear Leader can be horrified by a trip around Peninnis and yet is apparently unmoved by a close encounter with the floundering accounts. Might there be an issue with priorities do you think?

      • Ewart August 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm

        Dog beach opens in Croatia, with dog beer and dog ice-cream
        Perhaps, rather than adopting draconian laws,the Council could be a little more
        forward thinking and provide a dog friendly beach. Such a beach could help the
        the tourist trade and not hinder it, is this to much to expect of the Council ???

        • Ewart Less August 23, 2016 at 8:18 am