TOUGHER enforcement action is due to start early next month against dog owners who fail to abide by new rules that came into force last week.

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Street Scene officers from Fenland District Council will be stepping up patrols and targeting particular areas from November 5. Offenders could be hit by £75 fixed penalty notices.

The new Dog Control Orders have been introduced following a public consultation earlier in the year.

They give officers extra powers to deal with issues that residents have highlighted as particular concerns, such as tackling dog fouling and ensuring that children’s play areas are clean and safe.

Officers will do this by:

• Excluding dogs from all young children’s gated play areas, games areas and open cemeteries.

• Ensuring dogs are kept on a lead in some play areas and open spaces.

• Upholding dog fouling controls for all Fenland District Council parks and open spaces.

• Requesting dogs to be put on a lead when loose dogs may cause a nuisance.

Clear signs will be on display throughout the district, showing people the areas from which dogs are excluded or where they must be kept on a lead. More information about the orders is provided on FDC’s website at www.fenland.gov.uk/dog-control

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for the environment and street scene, said: “We have many beautiful, award-winning parks and open spaces and we take great pride in keeping them in a good condition for everyone to enjoy.

“Most dog owners are very responsible – they do pick up after their dogs and keep them under proper control. Unfortunately, there are some who don’t and that’s why we have introduced these new controls.

“In doing so, we have taken into account comments made during the consultation and made some changes to our original proposals.

“We are encouraging people to take pride in their environment and respect it. We see the £75 fines as a last resort to be used against people who refuse to heed that message.”

FDC officers will be enforcing the new orders in the following towns and surrounding villages on these dates: Wisbech (November 5), Chatteris (November 6), March (November 7) and Whittlesey (November 9).

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