Calls for dogs to be banned from selected public areas in Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 December 2019
Calls have been made to ban dogs from selected public areas around the town – including The Ham and Long Park.
Sidmouth Town Council was asked to share its views on behalf of residents as part of a East Devon District Council's (EDDC) three-year review on Public Spaces Protection Orders and Controls of Dogs at its latest meeting.
As part of its response, it asked that dog exclusion zones be considered on all land used for recreation and sports in Sidmouth - this includes areas such as Sidford Playing Fields, The Ham, Long Park and Manstone Recreation Field.
It also requested the order relating to people walking no more than six dogs at a time should be changed to no more than four dogs.
And, that 'dog on lead' areas be considered in areas where cycleways are in close proximity to pedestrian pathways.
The town council asked EDDC to encourage specific dog exercise areas and said it would investigate this on its own land.
It said it would resist any relaxation of dog control orders, as part of the review being undertaken by EDDC's Environmental Health, and asked for improved signage and an increased to dog warden enforcement in Sidmouth. A need for a clearer signs at Jacobs Ladder Beach was specifically noted.
Cllr Ian Barlow, chairman of Sidmouth Town council, said: "My personal opinion if you can't enforce what we have in place already there is no point in making up more rules.
"I think the thing at Long Park is when children are playing football.
"There were concerns about that but it is great putting this rule in place but who is going to police it?
"I haven't seen a dog warden in years.
"People need to more responsible for themselves and their dogs."
Cllr Kelvin Dent said: "There's no doubt that our four-legged friends bring a lot of pleasure and companionship to Sidmouth residents and provide valuable air and exercise for their owners.
"Most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets.
"Unfortunately some don't. That's why, for health and safety reasons, it makes sense to exclude dogs from playing fields where children play sports."
He added that he fully supported the investigation of potential specific dog exercise areas.