Council to look at park dog ban; First steps are taken on new byelaws.
Byline: KAIYA MARJORIBANKS
Byelaws banning dogs from Stirling area's play parks and sports grounds are to be considered.
Stirling Council's environment and housing committee members last Thursday asked officials compile an initial report on the proposal for their next meeting.
Officers from the council's safer communities team had already contacted the authority's lawyers to establish the process required for introduction of byelaws aimed at keeping dogs out of play parks and sports grounds.
Official Lorraine MacGillivray said: "It has been suggested that this would be a significant piece of work, which would include organising public consultation and publicity, obtaining sanction from a full council meeting and, ultimately, sanction from the Scottish Government."
Tory group leader Councillor Neil Benny asked that a report be brought back to the committee to allow members to discuss whether or not to progress the idea further.
Committee chair Councillor Jim Thomson said: "My own concern is we raise expectations that we can't deliver but I'm happy for a paper to come back to our next meeting."
Members also heard that a dogfouling pilot scheme in two primary schools, involving pupils taking part in question and answer sessions with council officers plus a post design project, had been offered to all schools in the authority's area, with a poster competition to be held. The winning poster will also be used authority-wide with schools able to use this and their own posters to highlight the issue.
A "rolling period" of week-long dog fouling patrols was also being introduced with time spent in each ward area. Councillors are to be informed before this takes place in their respective wards.
SNP councillor Evelyn Tweed said: "People hate dog fouling. There is a particular problem with dog fouling in Doune and Deanston around the primary schools and its really good to hear about the pilot scheme. Given it is such an issue around the schools, a lot of constituents and community councillors have been contacting me."
Between March 2 and April 30 this year only two dog fouling notices had been issued by enforcement officers.
Ms MacGillivray, however, said dog fouling was a priority, adding: "From working with the schools and the intelligence we are getting back from them it seems to be a particular issue around schools. We don't know if it is people exercising dogs in the schools or when people are taking their dogs while picking up and dropping off children at the school. It's early days but there has been a really good piece of work on that."
Depute convener, Labour councillor Danny Gibson, pointed out that school grounds were excluded from the Right to Roam legislation.
He added: "Dog owners have no right to go into school grounds to walk their dogs so the headteacher can ask them to leave at any time."