Ashfield Council leader says dogs are not being banned from parks and open spaces

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader, with his dog Bernie
Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader, with his dog Bernie

Earlier this year, I received a Facebook message from an angry parent who lives in Leamington, writes Coun Jason Zadrozny.

She warned me that the photo she was about to send me was ‘explicit’.

The photo she sent me had upset her and her family.

Her young son had come back from Sunday morning football covered in dog muck.

A growing number of local sports coaches and families have been in touch to complain about dog mess on sports pitches and children’s play areas.

The problem has got worse since Labour, who used to run the council, scrapped free poo bags in our district.

This is something that the new council intends to re-introduce.

I know that the vast majority of dog owners in this district are responsible, but I also know that a minority think it’s acceptable to let their dogs poo and leave it behind for other people to deal with.

Labour claimed the council was planning to ban dogs from its parks and open spaces, despite the fact they knew that this was wholly untrue.

Let me by absolutely clear: Ashfield Council is absolutely not proposing to ban dogs from council-owned parks or open spaces.

The council is looking at all options to prevent dog fouling on sports pitches where children play, that is all.

There will not be, nor has it ever been proposed, a ban for dogs from council parks.

The council is not targeting responsible dog owners, but committed to providing safe and clean recreational space for all residents to enjoy.

As well as free poo bags and better signage, Community Protection Officers will increase patrols in parks and open spaces.

There is currently a Public Spaces Protection Order, introduced by the previous Labour administration four years ago, enabling enforcement action relating to a number of types of issues including dog fouling and not carrying a suitable receptacle to pick up dog faeces.

This doesn’t affect dog owners like you and I.

I do not want to discourage responsible dog owners from using the beautiful award-winning parks across the district.