Dog poo fears at Northumberland tennis courts

Dogs owners could face tighter rules on where they can take their pets in Northumberland.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:05 pm
County bosses are looking at potential new rules for dog owners.
County bosses are looking at potential new rules for dog owners.

Pets already face restrictions on where their owners can exercise them, with designated places barred for all or part of the year.

But county bosses have agreed to take another look at existing guidelines after concerns were raised they could still be causing a nuisance in some communities.

“I really really would like to see dogs banned from enclosed sports areas, such as tennis courts and things like that,” said Coun Eileen Cartie.

“I have been trying for a while now to ask the cabinet to look at it, to see if they would actually introduce some kind of policy at council which would stop this happening [because] I don’t think that such a policy exists.”

She added: “It’s actually common sense for enclosed sports areas, like the tennis courts – children’s play areas have a policy in place [already,] but the dogs are going into enclosed tennis courts and it’s not very nice.”

Coun Cartie was speaking at this week’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’’s Communities and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Under the Northumberland County Council (Dog Control) Public Spaces Protection Order which came into force last year (January 2020), dogs cannot be taken to:

Any enclosed children’s play area, at any time of the year. The section of beach at Newbiggin by the Sea between Church Point and the promenade at Sidney Crescent, between May 1 – September 30, every year The section of beach at Blyth, between the beach access at Beachway and the beach access at the southern end of the Links Road car park, between May 1 – September 30, every year

Concerns about dogs at enclosed sports areas were raised at the committee’s meeting in March (2021), which examined the council’s Sports Facility Strategy and Playing Pitch Strategy.

The tennis courts at Ridley Park, in Blyth, were highlighted as ‘not all owners cleared up after their dogs’, according to councillors.

Coun Colin Horncastle, the county council’s cabinet member for Community Services, agreed it was a potential ‘health and hygiene’ issue and promised to re-examine guidelines.