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Victory on horizon for beach ban protestors

DOG OWNERS look set to have won the day after almost 5,000 people signed a petition against a local council’s proposals to extend a beach dog ban.

Scarborough Town Hall bureaucrats wanted to extend the current ban – which runs from May 1 to September 30 – on certain parts of beaches in Scarborough and Filey.

However, a report due to be discussed by members of Scarborough Council's cabinet on Tuesday of this week recommends the plan to extend the dog ban to March and April should be dropped.
Liz Blades, one of the organisers of the petition against the proposals, said: ‘I hope councillors do the right thing and agree with the recommendation which is being made.’

Mrs Blades, who lives in the Old Town, has two springer spaniels which she regularly exercises on the beach.

She added: ‘I'm glad the council seems to have listened to the concerns of responsible dog owners. If the recommendation is agreed in May, people need to show their appreciation by keeping their pets under proper control and cleaning up after them.’

Around 4,900 people signed a petition objecting to the proposal to extend the ban, with the protestors being helped and advised by the Kennel Club’s KC Dog campaign unit.

Members of Filey Town Council also strongly objected to the extension of the ban and commented about the lack of patrolling and enforcement of currents restrictions. They requested an increase of dog wardens in the town and more prosecutions.

Filey Tourism Association was also opposed to the move, saying many members felt the ban would affect visitors to Filey who come specifically to walk their dogs.

The Dogs Trust said the proposals would inhibit dog owners from satisfying the ‘duty of care’ requirement of the Animal Welfare Act while the Kennel Club accepted that dog bans were sometimes necessary during summer months but weather in March and April was not usually good enough for most people to sit on the beach.

Andy Skelton, the council's head of environmental services, said: ‘The purpose of our consultation was to gauge public support for an extension to the dog ban in March and April.

‘It is clear that the proposals did not enjoy popular public support and for that reason I am no longer recommending that the council extends the ban.’