DOG owners could be banned from walking their pets in certain open spaces across Runcorn and Widnes.
Halton Council has announced a public consultation over strict new rules to ban dogs as part of a crackdown on the increase in dog fouling.
Under proposals for an updated public spaces protection order some places could see an outright ban whilst in other areas owners will have to keep dogs on leads at all times.
Dog exclusion zones have been in place in the borough since 2010 but the new measures would add 16 new locations to the list, including parts of Spike Island, bringing the total number to 69.
Dogs could also be excluded from all marked and maintained sports areas such as football and rugby pitches,while 10 new 'dogs on lead’ locations have been proposed, including Hale Park.
The new rules will also include a wider range of prohibited behaviours and requirements that dog owners must comply with, such as restricting the number of dogs that can be walked at any one time to three or four.
Dog owners will also be required to provide dog poo bags if requested to do so by an authorised officer or face a fine of £100.
The proposals, which will be put forward at an environment and urban policy performance board meeting, will be open to public consultation for 12 weeks before any changes go ahead.
A council document on dog control says the stricter measures are a response to complaints and concerns by members of the public regarding incidents of anti-social behaviour caused by irresponsible dog owners.
It added that dog fouling “continues to be a widespread nuisance” which if ingested can cause illness or blindness because it contains the round worm parasite Toxicara.
The report states: “The parasite can also lay dormant within the ground for a number of weeks; long after the faeces have disappeared, meaning that young children who play on the ground are particularly at risk.”
The consultation will go live next week when members of the public will have until September 28 to give their views on the proposals, including what they think the maximum number of dogs per person should be.
These are the additional dog exclusion zones:
Spike Island and Catalyst
Upton multi use games area (MUGA)
Spike Island MUGA
Windmill Hill Avenue South – ball play
The Glen MUGA
The Glen Palacefields Avenue
Frank Myler Recreation MUGA
Town Hall Grounds formal gardens
Town Hall Grounds – MUGA
Runcorn Cemetery extension
Runcorn Hill Park tennis courts
Kingsway CRMZ MUGA
Peel House Lane Cemetery
The following are additional sites where dogs must be kept on leads:
Spike Island (in part)
Town Hall Park (in part)
Runcorn Hill Park (in part)
Upton Green playground
Ridding Lane ball court
Article/Research by Faye Brown of Runcorn/Widnes World