Dog control orders implemented after summer consultation

This Is Local London: A dog control order sign at Kitchener Road Park. A dog control order sign at Kitchener Road Park.

New dog control orders (DCOs) were implemented across the borough last week.

The council says the DCOs, the result of almost a year’s work, give dog owners a clear understanding of their responsibilities.

The orders define where dogs must remain on a lead, where dog owners can be directed to place dogs on a lead and the responsibility of dog owners to clean up after their pets.

But concerns have been raised about the accuracy of signs outlining the orders.

Deputy council leader and cabinet member for the environment Clyde Loakes said: “For responsible dog owners this will be a welcome clarification of how they can use our parks, and for irresponsible dog owners it provides fair warning about when we will enforce against breaches of the orders."

Over 750 residents responded to a consultation expressing a majority of support for the proposals, Cllr Loakes added, resulting in a consistent and balanced approach between the rights of dog owners and other park users.

The DCOs also closed a loophole which did not allow enforcement against owners who failed to clean up after dogs in cemeteries, car parks and public land owned by the Corporation of London, such as Epping Forest.

Dog owners’ group Waltham Forest For Dogs (WFFD) were involved in a consultation during the summer over the orders which the group’s chair Mark Fisher said was “considerate and effective”.

But he added: “I am dismayed at the implementation of signage as evidence to date.”

He said signs at Stoneydown Park were wrong and that signs at Chestnuts field are only displayed at the main entrance, meaning anyone who enters at a different location is ignorant about the DCOs.

“I have been told that these are temporary and the permanent ones will be correct but it begs the question of ‘why bother?’ and ‘at what expense to the taxpayer?’”

He added that the Kitchener Road Park signs are “wrong, full stop”.

“They say no dogs in that area and no dogs in the fenced off sports field,” he said.

“That means the whole park since there are only these two areas.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:24am Sun 12 Jan 14

e17-reader says...

You have to admit-the use of the phrase "as directed" could have probably made more sense if replaced with "where indicated"? To be totally honest, irresponsible offenders have little to be afraid of if the same people policing this are the ones also enforcing spitting, drug smoking (and any smoking at bus stops), use of mobile phones while driving etc, etc. Lovely laws to protect, just not enough enforcers sadly. hope it does make a difference for the better having said that.
You have to admit-the use of the phrase "as directed" could have probably made more sense if replaced with "where indicated"? To be totally honest, irresponsible offenders have little to be afraid of if the same people policing this are the ones also enforcing spitting, drug smoking (and any smoking at bus stops), use of mobile phones while driving etc, etc. Lovely laws to protect, just not enough enforcers sadly. hope it does make a difference for the better having said that. e17-reader
  • Score: 3

1:38pm Sun 12 Jan 14

mdj says...

'signs at Chestnuts field are only displayed at the main entrance, meaning anyone who enters at a different location is ignorant about the DCOs'

This should not deter Cllr Loakes, who can prosecute people for recycling a cardboard box if it gets him a headline.
Recently two non-locals were convicted for spitting in this borough, something which was not an offence anywhere else at the time, and which was not forbidden by any public signage.
The men in question - whose behaviour is of course to be deplored - would need to have read the council's legal officer's advice that bodily waste could be regarded as litter - advice that had not been tested in court.
If they could speak English, that is. So much for the rule of law.

This story could usefully have reminded us that local dog-walkers heroically cleared massive amounts of foul waste from our parks that the council had failed to prevent or clear up.
All they got by way of thanks from Cllr Loakes was a threatened prosecution for putting up a small sign telling people what they'd done.
'signs at Chestnuts field are only displayed at the main entrance, meaning anyone who enters at a different location is ignorant about the DCOs' This should not deter Cllr Loakes, who can prosecute people for recycling a cardboard box if it gets him a headline. Recently two non-locals were convicted for spitting in this borough, something which was not an offence anywhere else at the time, and which was not forbidden by any public signage. The men in question - whose behaviour is of course to be deplored - would need to have read the council's legal officer's advice that bodily waste could be regarded as litter - advice that had not been tested in court. If they could speak English, that is. So much for the rule of law. This story could usefully have reminded us that local dog-walkers heroically cleared massive amounts of foul waste from our parks that the council had failed to prevent or clear up. All they got by way of thanks from Cllr Loakes was a threatened prosecution for putting up a small sign telling people what they'd done. mdj
  • Score: 1

3:10pm Mon 13 Jan 14

fabster says...

Lloyd Park signs have just appeared, and they say 'Dogs on Lead except designated exercise area', but it does not say where this area is.

https://www.facebook
.com/photo.php?fbid=
10151813642190670&se
t=gm.254571704709410
&type=1&theater

What we need is a map that is clearly understood at a glance, that can be seen at all entrances, that can be handed out by wardens, that can be put through people's letterboxes or distributed at vets. Ambiguity is precisely how dog owners will innocently get fined £80 since the signs are neither consistent nor clear.

Why can't the Council do a simple map like what Haringey have done?
http://www.haringey.
gov.uk/dog_control_o
rders_v10-5-12.pdf

A lady I know was recently fined £80 for her young puppy off lead in an empty St James park at 6am on a dark wet Monday morning. She did not see any sign as it was dark and wet when she entered the park and she is a new dog owner in the area who did not know anything about the Consultation. There was no discretion afforded even though her little dog is hardly dangerous and there was no one else in the park except the 'civil officer' hiding behind a tree...
Lloyd Park signs have just appeared, and they say 'Dogs on Lead except designated exercise area', but it does not say where this area is. https://www.facebook .com/photo.php?fbid= 10151813642190670&se t=gm.254571704709410 &type=1&theater What we need is a map that is clearly understood at a glance, that can be seen at all entrances, that can be handed out by wardens, that can be put through people's letterboxes or distributed at vets. Ambiguity is precisely how dog owners will innocently get fined £80 since the signs are neither consistent nor clear. Why can't the Council do a simple map like what Haringey have done? http://www.haringey. gov.uk/dog_control_o rders_v10-5-12.pdf A lady I know was recently fined £80 for her young puppy off lead in an empty St James park at 6am on a dark wet Monday morning. She did not see any sign as it was dark and wet when she entered the park and she is a new dog owner in the area who did not know anything about the Consultation. There was no discretion afforded even though her little dog is hardly dangerous and there was no one else in the park except the 'civil officer' hiding behind a tree... fabster
  • Score: 2

3:55pm Mon 13 Jan 14

the dame says...

The words' by direction' are very misleading especially when quite a few of our residents do not have English as their first language. WFC should sign up to the Plain English Society or engage educated, competent staff who consider closely what a sign is meant to indicate and how it should be interpreted before going to print.
The words' by direction' are very misleading especially when quite a few of our residents do not have English as their first language. WFC should sign up to the Plain English Society or engage educated, competent staff who consider closely what a sign is meant to indicate and how it should be interpreted before going to print. the dame
  • Score: 2

5:21pm Mon 13 Jan 14

WF4Dogs says...

Another day and another example of confusing incompetent signage has surfaced after Kitchener park, then Lloyd park and now Wingfield Road.

In Wingfield Road the green signage on the left of the entrance says No Dogs, while the new signage on the right of the same entrance says Dogs on Lead by Direction. Which is it?

Additionally, to say No Dog Fouling is a nonsense. It should say "Dog Fouling must be picked up or risk an £80 fine" since the issue is about picking up dog fouling after all. Unless WF4Dogs missed the memo and all our 240+ dog owning members need to put nappies on our dog's behind?
Another day and another example of confusing incompetent signage has surfaced after Kitchener park, then Lloyd park and now Wingfield Road. In Wingfield Road the green signage on the left of the entrance says No Dogs, while the new signage on the right of the same entrance says Dogs on Lead by Direction. Which is it? Additionally, to say No Dog Fouling is a nonsense. It should say "Dog Fouling must be picked up or risk an £80 fine" since the issue is about picking up dog fouling after all. Unless WF4Dogs missed the memo and all our 240+ dog owning members need to put nappies on our dog's behind? WF4Dogs
  • Score: 1

6:29pm Mon 13 Jan 14

WF4Dogs says...

By the way for those interested in factual numbers:

"Over 750 residents responded to a consultation expressing a majority of support for the proposals" - This isn't a completely accurate statement when you unpack the consultation results.

The Council's 763 figure does not include a large sack of paper responses filled in by 50 elderly dog owners who had no access to the internet. When we followed this up at a meeting, it seemed those got lost somehow even though we have a signed piece of paper from the Town Hall confirming our hand delivery on the day of the deadline.

These elderly dog owners responses were never added to the final tally, thus skewing the percentage of those in favour/against of the DCOs. Apart from unanimous agreement to pick up dog fouling and no dogs in playgrounds (which has been the norm since 2006), there is not much in it regarding the rest of the consultation results.

Of the numbers the Council have counted, 53.2% were dog owners and 46.8% were non dog owners. In numerous questions the percentage which agreed or disagreed was +/-10% on average. (which translates to roughly 70-75 people.) Had the missing 50 paper responses from elderly dog owners been counted, who knows what the result would've been…

For example, Question 3: "Do you agree that all sports courts and multi-use games areas in all parks and open spaces within Waltham Forest should be dog free?" 54% agreed vs 42% disagreed. (That's less than 10% difference = approx 60 people)

Question 8: "Do you agree that part of Higham Hill Recreation Ground is an area where dog owners should keep their dogs on a lead at all times?" 42% agreed, 32% disagreed & 26% did not have a view on this. (again 10% in it = 75 people)

Meanwhile Q10 & Q11 gives you a real feel for "expressing a majority of support" because 68% agreed that Lloyd park should have an off-lead area with 18% disagreeing. That's 486 people agreeing vs 132 against. Q11: 65.5% agreed Mansfield Park should be off lead with 19% disagreeing. This translates to 459 wanting dogs off lead here vs 133 who did not. On these two questions we saw "a majority of support" for dogs to be off-lead.

Curiously, the 5% of respondents who do not live in WF should have had their responses thrown out because it makes no sense that 35 people living in, say Birmingham or Cardiff, should have a say about what goes on in our local parks. Equally interesting was that more respondents had children than not (426 vs 289) which suggests that many people have dogs as well as children. The implication of which means, many must now decide if they're walking the dog, the children must stay at home, or if they're taking their children to the playground, the dog must stay at home. Absurdity we think.

Nonetheless, all this is progress when you consider that the last dog control orders were brought in with only two respondents, one of whom was against.
By the way for those interested in factual numbers: "Over 750 residents responded to a consultation expressing a majority of support for the proposals" - This isn't a completely accurate statement when you unpack the consultation results. The Council's 763 figure does not include a large sack of paper responses filled in by 50 elderly dog owners who had no access to the internet. When we followed this up at a meeting, it seemed those got lost somehow even though we have a signed piece of paper from the Town Hall confirming our hand delivery on the day of the deadline. These elderly dog owners responses were never added to the final tally, thus skewing the percentage of those in favour/against of the DCOs. Apart from unanimous agreement to pick up dog fouling and no dogs in playgrounds (which has been the norm since 2006), there is not much in it regarding the rest of the consultation results. Of the numbers the Council have counted, 53.2% were dog owners and 46.8% were non dog owners. In numerous questions the percentage which agreed or disagreed was +/-10% on average. (which translates to roughly 70-75 people.) Had the missing 50 paper responses from elderly dog owners been counted, who knows what the result would've been… For example, Question 3: "Do you agree that all sports courts and multi-use games areas in all parks and open spaces within Waltham Forest should be dog free?" 54% agreed vs 42% disagreed. (That's less than 10% difference = approx 60 people) Question 8: "Do you agree that part of Higham Hill Recreation Ground is an area where dog owners should keep their dogs on a lead at all times?" 42% agreed, 32% disagreed & 26% did not have a view on this. (again 10% in it = 75 people) Meanwhile Q10 & Q11 gives you a real feel for "expressing a majority of support" because 68% agreed that Lloyd park should have an off-lead area with 18% disagreeing. That's 486 people agreeing vs 132 against. Q11: 65.5% agreed Mansfield Park should be off lead with 19% disagreeing. This translates to 459 wanting dogs off lead here vs 133 who did not. On these two questions we saw "a majority of support" for dogs to be off-lead. Curiously, the 5% of respondents who do not live in WF should have had their responses thrown out because it makes no sense that 35 people living in, say Birmingham or Cardiff, should have a say about what goes on in our local parks. Equally interesting was that more respondents had children than not (426 vs 289) which suggests that many people have dogs as well as children. The implication of which means, many must now decide if they're walking the dog, the children must stay at home, or if they're taking their children to the playground, the dog must stay at home. Absurdity we think. Nonetheless, all this is progress when you consider that the last dog control orders were brought in with only two respondents, one of whom was against. WF4Dogs
  • Score: 5

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree