A council is considering bringing in tougher measures to clamp down on irresponsible dog-owners.
Maidstone council already has a number of powers under its Public Spaces Protection Orders to make sure dog-owners keep their animals under control and clean up their mess, but is now thinking of expanding those powers.
At present, owners can be required to clean up their dog’s faeces if they mess on public land.
The council is considering making it a requirement for a dog owner to show they have the means of removing the faeces (by carrying a poo bag or equivalent) if challenged.
It proposes to keep the measure that excudes all dogs from children’s play areas, whether they are fenced or open, and from tennis courts.
At present there is a requirement for owners to keep their dogs on a lead at both the Sutton Road Cemetery and at the Vinters Park Crematorium. The council is considering enlarging this to cover the whole of Maidstone town centre.
It will keep powers to require the person in charge of a dog to comply with a request from an authorised officer to put a dog on a lead when it is causing danger or concern and to give their name and address to an authorised officer when requested to do so.
But it is also considering putting a limit on the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at a time. It has not suggested what that number should be.
A failure to comply with any of the measures can result in a £100 fixed penalty notice.
Cllr Claudine Russell, cabinet member for communities, leisure and arts, said: “Every three years we are required to review our Public Space Protection Orders and to consult with our residents and partners on the measures proposed.
“Maidstone is home to thousands of responsible dog owners who exercise their pets across the borough.
“However, not all dog owners are responsible and we believe that irresponsible dog ownership is not limited to whether an owner cleans up after their dog.”
“These new proposals will ensure officers have the appropriate powers to challenge irresponsible owners and protect our beautiful borough as a clean and safe place to live in.”
The public can give their views in an online consultation here.
The survey runs until August 6. The results will be discussed at the Housing and Environment Committee on September 7.