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Weird Kent by-laws

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 October 2018

From not using soap in a swimming pool to where to dry clothes, Kent’s councils still have many strange by-laws.

Local authorities can set out rules for residents that only affect their area such as restrictions on ball games in parks to licenses on taxis, called by-laws.

These local laws were once only enforced after receiving a stamp of approval by the Government.

That ended in 2016 after former local government minister Grant Shapps highlighted some particularly outdated by-laws, including a ban on drying clothes in parks in Whistable.

The majority of by-laws across the county ensure hairdressers, tattooists, acupuncturists and taxi drivers run their businesses safely.

However, there are a few rules which have not stood the test of time.

In Dartford and Tunbridge Wells there are regulations on when you can burn straw.

Farmers in north Kent are not permitted to set fires on weekends or bank holidays.

If you wanted to own a pig, you would have to keep it more than 100 feet away from another person’s house and you can’t throw away their faeces in a bin if its 50 feet away.

Kites, model airplanes or rockets cannot be used in Dartford Health Common, according to a by-law at Dartford Borough Council.

Soap is not allowed in any council-run swimming pools in the borough, nor are any animals.

According to the same by-law from 1976, people can bring “intoxicating liquor” in a glass bottle if they get permission from the council.

In Thanet, no one is allowed to go on the promenade wearing roller skates, skate boards or any other “mechanical contrivances to the danger of other persons lawfully using the promenades”.

At Sevenoaks Common, you cannot hunt or steal a bird’s eggs, according to a by-law that dates back to 1899.

Back in 2002, Medway Council decided to increase the amount of “no ball signs” in the Towns as part of a consolidation of the by-laws from all the former councils.

These signs cost around £10,000, and £28,000 was spent on wardens to enforce the restrictions.

You could be thrown out of the library for falling asleep or having a drink without the consent of an officer in Medway.

Punishment for being caught breaking any of these by-laws range from a £500 to £5 fine.

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