A response to the proposed extended dog ban

We have written to the dog warden officer Jane Williams regarding the proposed extended roll over of the dog ban. As many of you will know we presented a petition in January 2017 asking for the extended beach ban to be reconsidered. Our petition was gathered from visitors and locals, it resulted in over 2000 people signing it.

We understood that this would go to public consultation before it ended in June 2019 and being in force for three years.

We have been in constant contact with councillors, our MP Richard Drax and also with the dog warden team and beach office. We have a meeting with Jane Williams and Kevin Good on the 17th February 2019.

There is a meeting at the Council offices Commercial Road Weymouth to discuss this, Forward plan January to March 2019 (01/12/2018 to 31/03/2019 Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Management Committee) The request is to extend Weymouth and Portland Dog-related Public Spaces Protection Order 2016. The date for this meeting is 5th February 2019 at 9.30am.

We will be attending; the meeting is open to all and will include other items for this committee to decide upon.

If you would like an answer to a question you must write to the democratic service requesting this. In the next few days would be good, there is a time limit for a response at the meeting.

Should you wish to speak, this is reserved for the public at the start. You are given three minutes to give your suggestions and opinions to the member of the committee. The council will require you to not repeat other people’s comments and will remind you your time is up. If you feel you may be too nervous to talk you can request a member of the committee read out your comment.

Having been through this process it may be preferable. They don’t give any extra time for disabled people to speak so you may want to consider this.

We publish all the documents regarding the dog ban on our group page as we understand some people have found them difficult to find.

Above you will find the updated guidance issue to councils, you may have seen Therese Coffey’s response in the press when she referred to some as being “Draconian” and out of perspective. people are suffering hate crime from people who dislike dogs, with visitors being shouted at on our beach ‘to get their disgusting dog off the beach before it Sh…s everywhere’.

People are not walking on the beach during April and October to defy the law. It’s simple due to poor signage, information boards, leaflets and maps showing the pervious dates.

As a community we have been sharing information with people who visit to try and prevent fines for walking on the beach, are proactive in sending the message Any bin Will Do and holding events where we have bags donated by a local pet supplier.

We have offered suggestions about signage in our parks and gardens, offering to find bag dispensing machines and bins similar to the ones in Dorchester.

We have offered to host dog information days to ensure everyone understands the importance of good dog ownership.

We have attended information days with the dog warden service, been into a play school to share stories and highlight how to approach to dogs.

We have asked a number of questions under FOI regarding the impact the ban has on dog fouling, fines received, and dogs off leads.

We have been involved with litter picks organising our own and joining other groups, we purchase a super scooper to take out with us to clean areas.

Once we have all the answers to our questions we will again report back to you. We feel this ban has not increased awareness. It has just had an impact on the income for our small businesses who rely on out of season trade.

Linda Stevenson