NEW powers banning dogs from play parks and sports pitches can’t be enforced weeks after being brought in. 

Monmouthshire Council’s public spaces protection order came into force on June 1, making 180 play parks and sports pitches off limits to dogs and a further 20 areas lead-only.

But it has been confirmed the council hasn’t yet put up all the necessary signs to let dog owners know restrictions are in place. 

Huw Owen, MCC principle environmental health officer, confirmed clear signage is required for them to be enforced. 

He told the council’s performance scrutiny committee: “There are 200 exclusion and lead only areas and each has to be sign posted and that is being rolled out in the next few months.” 

He was answering a question from Labour councillor for Rogiet, Peter Strong, who wanted assurance there would be no prosecutions in the meantime.

He said: “The public spaces protection order and dog exclusion zones came into force on June 1 but to my knowledge the signs are not in place.” 

The councillor also said people aren’t clear of the boundaries of the areas from maps published by the council. 

The orders also require dog walkers to carry a bag to collect their pet’s poo, which they must pick up wherever it fouls in a public place. Previously dog walkers only had to pick up their dog’s poo in defined areas. 

Mr Owen said: “Enforcement starts with raising awareness we’ve got to be the first part, and that nudge effect of changing behaviour. 

“The early months, summer months, it’s going to be about signposting areas of high footfall, our town centre locations, etc, to make people aware of a requirement to pick up their dog’s mess, if it fouls a public space, and to carry dog bags.” 

He also said the council’s eight environmental health officers are authorised to issue fines, and a parking review would also look at extending that to the council’s traffic wardens. 

Mr Owen said enforcement would be intelligence led and he said the authority has a good realtionship with town and community councils through its give dog fouling the red card campaign.