Control orders on dog owners by town council

Parsons Close Recreation Ground, Leighton Buzzard
Parsons Close Recreation Ground, Leighton Buzzard

Dog walkers may need to get up to scratch with ‘Dog Control Orders’ enforced by Leighton Linslade Town Council in a bid to smarten up the area.

Dog Control Orders were passed by Central Bedfordshire Council in 2005, but the town council has began enforcing it to help improve its parks and green spaces .

One dog walker was left “outraged” when ordered to put his dog on a lead in the park by Parsons Close, with a potential £80 penalty notice.

He said: “I’m not aware of any spike in dogs dangerously out of control in the area... So why the restrictions on the innocent law abiding public?

“Whilst some of the town is getting more up to date and dog friendly ... the council seems set on excluding responsible owners.

“My view is, your dog doesn’t always have to be on a lead to be responsible.”

In response, Ian Haynes, head of grounds and evironmental services at the town council, said there was no blanket ban on dogs without leads at Parsons Close.

However, under the Dog Control Orders a council officer could order a dog walker to place a lead on their pet, if the animal is believed to out of control.

Mr Haynes said: “All of our grounds and environmental services staff have recently been trained to enforce and we will be using the Dog Control Orders to help improve our towns, parks and green spaces.”

Orders include dogs being kept on a lead at all cemeteries, gardens of remembrance or sports pitches. Dogs must also be placed on a lead at the order of a council officer on any public land across CBC. Lastly, a ban on dogs entering enclosed children’s play area or multi-use games areas.

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