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A group of professional dog walkers invited to talks over new rules

Licensing and regulation

01 December 2022

Key representatives for those who make a living by walking dogs are being invited to meet with Council and service leads at West Northamptonshire Council following the implementation of new rules relating to public open spaces.

On Tuesday, 1 November a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was formally adopted across the Daventry and South Northants areas.

Requirements of the PSPO aim to keep members of the community safe while enjoying public spaces, and included banning people from smoking in children’s playgrounds, as well as requiring all dog walkers to pick up after their pets and not walk more than four dogs at once in public spaces.

More than four dogs can be walked on private land with permission of the landowner, and dedicated dog walking areas.

Promotion of the proposed new rules started in August, with further publicity around the decision-making at a Council meeting on 11 October.

However, since the Order came into force on 1 November, professional dog walkers have contacted the Council to request alternative options are considered to allow the walking of more than four dogs in public open spaces.

"In response to queries around the  PSPO requirements, we are listening to the concerns and queries highlighted by professional dog walkers.

"In order to understand these queries, Executive Director for Place, Stuart Timmiss and I are in the process of arranging a meeting with representatives for professional dog walkers to discuss the options going forward to support these groups.

"Until these talks have taken place, the Council will not be taking enforcement action where more than four dogs are being walked in public open spaces, as long as dog walkers adhere to the other requirements of the PSPOs."
Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for regulatory services at WNC.

For more information, visit the WNC webpage on PSPOs.

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