How Chesterfield could be made more ‘dog-friendly’

A Chesterfield politician has launched a campaign to make the area more ‘dog-friendly’.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 2:31 pm

Ed Fordham, a Liberal Democrat councillor for the Brockwell ward on Chesterfield Borough Council, wants to see improvements locally for man’s best friend.

Coun Fordham, who owns a Husky called Sparky, said: “All the evidence of lockdown – sociological and anecdotal – is that our pets give us unconditional love, that they are crucial to our successful handling of bereavement, stress and anxiety, and that dogs as pets are a joy.

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There has been an increase in pet ownership during the pandemic.

“There are things that we could do to make Chesterfield more dog-friendly.”

Coun Fordham’s ideas are:

1. Clarify if all waste bins take dog bags or just those with the stickers ‘dog waste accepted’. “We need to make clear where dog waste should go,” he said.

2. Encourage shops and public facilities to make available water bowls and dog bag dispensers.

3. Make provision for enclosed but dedicated dog parks in open spaces. Coun Fordham said: “These would be for off-lead running, dog training and more besides. The small facility at Holmebrook Valley Park should be enhanced and one created at Poolsbrook Country Park.”

5. Develop a scheme across retail and commercial outlets which makes clear where dogs on leads and with well-behaved owners are welcome.

6. Working with the council and individual places of worship, adjust signage and policies for the borough’s cemeteries and graveyards that dogs accompanied by their owners are welcome to visit the graves of their loved ones.

As part of his campaign, Coun Fordham is inviting people to join his Facebook group, Dog Friendly Chesterfield – which has nearly 400 members.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and well-being at the council, said: “Dogs are great companions, an important member of the family and we know that lots of our residents are responsible dog owners.

“I’d like to remind them all that providing it is in a securely sealed bag they can place dog waste in all litter bins in our borough.

“If they are unable to find a litter bin, they can take sealed bags home and place them in their general waste bin.

“If you do spot someone not cleaning up after their dog please report it to us online.

“Those who fail to clean up after their dog could face a fine of up to £1,000.

“There is currently a Dog Control Public Space Protection Order in place, which controls dog fouling and in certain locations manages where dogs can go and when they should be kept on leads.

“This order is due for review later this year.”

As reported last month, council chiefs have seen an increase in complaints about dog fouling in Chesterfield.

It is thought more people have been getting pets during the pandemic, leading to an increase in dog mess on our streets.

Coun Fordham said: “As a dog owner, I must clear up after my dog - that is my responsibility.

“I get so much comfort, companionship and love from my dog the least I can do is assist with their daily hygiene.”