Express & Star

Dogs to be banned from tennis courts and park war memorial in Cannock Chase

Dogs will be banned from tennis courts and a park war memorial as part of a new control order in Cannock Chase.

Cannock Chase Council Civic Centre in Beecroft Road, Cannock

The current Dog Control Order places restrictions on canines entering fenced children’s play areas, as well as requiring them to be put on a lead within three metres of roads.

People are also limited to walking up to six dogs at a time and must clear up their mess if they foul a public place.

The three-year order was approved last year and aims to tackle antisocial behaviour by irresponsible dog owners. It is now set to be revoked and replaced with a new version however after a public consultation identified further areas that needed to be covered by the restrictions.

A report to Cannock Chase Council’s cabinet said: “These areas included further children’s play areas, tennis courts, multi-use games areas, skateboard parks, cycle (BMX or pump) tracks and war memorials.

"The consultation also highlighted cases where a requirement to put dogs on a lead when directed to do so in all public spaces, not just on or near the highway, would be beneficial – for example to deal with dog-on-dog attacks.”

The report revealed that dog fouling complaints in the district had reduced from 96 in 2016-17 to 70 in 2018-19, but rose to 104 in 2020-21. There were 88 complaints in 2021-22.

Stray dog complaints fell from 168 in 2016-17 to 28 in 2020-21. There were 46 complaints relating to stray dogs in 2021-22.

Cabinet members approved the replacement order at their meeting on Thursday.

Council leader Olivia Lyons backed the extra measures after a family member’s dog was attacked, while deputy leader Bryan Jones recalled a time when six Alsatians ran towards him.

He said: “The owner said they were friendly and I was thinking they’re anything but that. That was intimidating for me – heaven knows what it would be like for other people.

“We all know dog fouling is a big issue and anything we can do to address those complaints is a good thing. We want people to use parks and open spaces; what we don’t want is children walking into dog poo.”

Councillor Lyons said: “I think it is right we listen to residents. We want to encourage them to be able to go out and enjoy our play areas and open spaces and we want them to be able to do so safely.

“It’s not overly restrictive and the majority of people are responsible dog owners.”