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New plans to extend beach ban
KC Dog critical of Scarborough’s plans to extend dogs’ beach ban

Scarborough District Council is currently consulting on plans to extend the dog exclusion order on the town’s beach. The consultation ends next Friday and KC Dog, the Kennel Club’s dog owners group, is urging local dog owners to have their say on the proposals.

At present the dog ban runs from 1st May to 30th September, in line with DEFRA guidelines, but the council plans to lengthen this period by starting it on 1st March every year. This would mean that owners would be unable to walk their dogs during the spring, when the beach is often empty due to the weather.

The council says it is responding to requests from parents who want to keep dogs away from their children. Andrew Skelton, the head of Environmental Health at the Council, is reported in the Filey and Humanby Mercury as saying: “We want to avoid any conflict between dogs and holidaymakers.” The comment is revealing as he clearly ranks the opinion of tourists, who visit briefly, above that of dog owning residents, who pay their share of council tax.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said, “Extending the order is unfair because it penalises responsible and irresponsible dog owners alike. Equally the beach is public land and should be open to all people who use it responsibly, not just to tourists and families with children.

“The order is an overreaction because the stated problem could be solved with a ‘dogs on leads by direction’ order. The Isle of Wight came close to introducing a similar ban in 2007, but backed down after massive opposition from the dog walking community. We advise the dog owning community in Scarborough to join KC Dog and to write to the council with their opinions. KC Dog will be responding to the consultation fully, urging the council to reconsider.”