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Blackburn environment boss taking lead on dogs
BOROUGH Environment boss Jim Smith is determined to bring in tough new controls on dogs in children’s play areas, cemeteries, church grounds and sports fields across Blackburn with Darwen.
He spoke out after a consultation when more than 50 residents expressed concern about the move.
Most were alarmed by council leader Kate Hollern’s desire for a total ban on dogs off leads in the borough’s seven main parks.
Coun Smith said measures were needed following complaints about dangerous animals and people failing to clean-up after their pets.
He claimed when objectors realised the limited nature of the proposed controls, due this summer, most were reassured.
The council proposes banning all dogs, except guide dogs, from all 45 municipally-owned and private enclosed children’s play areas.
It will become a criminal offence not to keep a dog on a lead in 10 cemeteries, church precincts and burial grounds, including the Cathedral Close.
On a further eight playing fields officials will be able to force owners to put their dogs on a lead if requested on pain of a £75 fine.
During the four-week conultation, five letters and 49 emails objecting to the scheme were received.
Coun Smith, who walks his 11-year-old labrador Homer daily on Witton Park, said: “We are proposing limited new powers to tackle dangerous dogs and the problem of dog fouling.
“Dog muck is a scourge in this borough on its streets and it its parks.”
“There was little opposition to banning dogs from enclosed children’s play areas and requiring leads in cemeteries and churchyards.”
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