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Ensure you have dog poo bags in readiness for new rules

Extra supplies of FREE dog poo bags are on order by Boston Borough Council ready for the introduction of tougher new rules on February 1.

The council will do its best to make a free supply available, but it remains the responsibility of the person walking the dog to be sure they have equipped themselves to clean up and to show that they have the intention to do so if challenged. Failure to do so could see a £100 fine imposed from February 1.

The council will do its best to ensure FREE bags are available, but, should they not be, this will not be an acceptable reason for failure to clean up. Dog poo bags are not expensive and are available from shops. Some people like to use scented nappy bags.

From February 1 those walking dogs could face a £100 fine if they cannot demonstrate their intention to clean up after their pet. If challenged they will have to produce a bag to show they are equipped to pick up.

Although Boston Borough Council approved new fines under new Public Spaces Protection Order legislation in October, residents are being given until February 1 to get used to the new regime.

Signs are going up in public areas to give notice of the new rules - doubling of fines from £50 to £100 for failing to clean up after a dog, if a dog walker cannot show that they have with them the means to clean up, allowing a dog into an enclosed children's play area or refusing to put a dangerous or nuisance dog on a lead.

The new powers to control dogs are being introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 which allows councils to create a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

Cllr Michael Brookes, the Cabinet member with responsibility for waste services, said: "It is encouraging to note that more people are using our free dog poo bags, and we will do our best to have plenty available. But being in possession of a bag is the responsibility of the dog walker. An failure to clean up because a free council bag was not available will not be accepted as an excuse for not picking up.

"The only people this control will affect are the irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up or have consideration for others."

Public consultation showed that 90 per cent were in favour of it being an offence for dog walkers not to carry a bag or the means at all times to clean up after their dog. And 74 per cent agreed the fine should be £100.

Dog poo bags are available for free from Boston Borough Council's Municipal Buildings office and a dispenser in Central Park. They are also available from parish councils and from some village locations, such as shops.

Evidence so far indicates that more dog walkers are already doing the right thing - the free dog poo bag dispenser in Central Park has to have its supply replenished every day.

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