Ashfield District Council set to scrap ‘dog fouling’ motion

Ashfield District Council is considering scrapping a controversial motion that would ban dog walkers from certain sports pitches in the district.

It comes after numerous complaints about dog fouling on football pitches across Ashfield led to the full council narrowly passing a vote in October to consider the plans.

The Great North Dog Walk on The Leas, South Shields on Sunday.

The Great North Dog Walk on The Leas, South Shields on Sunday.

The motion had been described as an “attack on responsible dog owners” by opposition councillors, however Councillor Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said his cabinet has found “alternative steps” to appease concerns.

He said: “I would like to state that we never intended to ban dog walkers from all parks and open spaces, we were looking at options to protect the sports pitches for those who use them.

“We initially looked at putting fences around sports pitches to prevent dogs from entering them, however it became apparent that this would cost the council thousands.

“We looked into it and it appeared that the biggest spate of complaints about dog fowling came after the free bags for dog litter were removed from our parks.

“Now we are looking to bring them back across 25 parks in the district, rather than taking action to fence off the parks.

“It is likely that the plans will get scrapped with a view to increase signage in our parks and put up new stands with the free bags.

“We have found bags that are biodegradable and made from corn starch, so they are completely recyclable, and we are looking to have advertising on the signs to ensure it costs nothing to the council.”

The motion will be considered by the council’s cabinet on Monday, January 21.