Dogs banned from village green(6 Posts)
Apologies if this has been done before - I did a search but couldn't find anything.
Basically our Parish Council has decided to completely ban dogs from the village green because a resident has complained about her child treading in poo.
Before this dogs were allowed if on a lead, and there are notices reminding you to pick up their poo.
Now I am sure that the council are within their legal rights to do this, but it does seem like an over-reaction as I have never noticed any dog poo on there and most owners are responsible and considerate.
Feelings are running high at the moment, with some dog owners saying that they should ban children instead - they have damaged gates, benches and trees, and often leave litter behind too.
It is an inconvenience to me as it is a long walk around the green, and I can't help thinking that the irresponsible dog owners will just carry on being irresponsible, but my real worry is for those elderly people who I see taking a quick walk around the green because they can't walk any further. I know two women in very poor health who walk around the green and I don't know what they will do once they can't do it any more!
There is a parish council meeting next week and some dog owners are hoping to attend and make their feelings known - does anyone have any experience of fighting something like this, or have any arguments I could use that might make them reconsider?
I should add that I have children who play there too, but we are a tiny rural village and it is a recently created space that was supposed to benefit the whole community (there are also playing fields, sports pitches etc on the edge of the village where dogs have always been banned).
No experience but what is their legal argument? Are there any by-laws allowing reasonable enjoyment of the green? Are other animals allowed on there - horses, cats. Are there adequate disposal facilities - a poo bin, 2 if it is a large area. Can you get a petition together, get walking groups like the ramblers onside (although some ramblers groups are anti dog), how about a letter from a health professional concerned about elderly with pets. Definitely put forward in writing a breakdown of the areas available to children v those for dogs, and ask how the council can justify closing off one of the dog areas.
Most importantly keep things professional, and documented. Do you have a dog friendly lawyer or professional business person who will speak on your behalf? This would be much more effective than a disjointed approach.
Avoid using the damage caused by the children as an argument. It won't sit well. Use the other provision for children as support for the fact that this facility need not be exclusively for their use.
you dont have to look at a child having a shit on the village green do you though
Who is going to enforce the band and what is the penalty ?
I am really just on the periphery of the group who plan to oppose the ban but I understand that they do have a friendly lawyer looking into the legality of it (although the council are adamant that they don't even need to provide notification of change of use) and they are also organising a petition.
There are actually three bins, although they are not specifically for animal waste, and there are no plans to place restrictions on other animals. Bizarrely I came across two dog owners arguing this afternoon about whether the offending poo belonged to a dog or a fox (we do have a lot of foxes)!
I also spoke to the gardener who was mowing it this afternoon - he said he has never seen any dog poo and it's the cleanest public space he works on.
I agree that a co-ordinated approach would work best, and I like your point about child provision v dog provision so will raise that too I think.
Whoopy- current signs tell us to keep dogs on leads without any mention of a penalty, so presumably the new signs won't refer to a penalty either...if so I suspect that many will ignore and carry on as they did before. In fact, I wonder whether a compromise might to enforce the 'on lead' request with signs warning of a penalty for non-compliance...it might just make people take it more seriously.
My area is just consulting about setting up a community council, and this is just the kind of thing I fear. Does anyone have any relevant experiences?
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