All year ban is not the answer

PUBLISHED: 02:01 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 15 June 2010

Please, please, please can we NOT have a year-round ban on dogs on the beach in Lyme Regis? The main reason given for such a ban is the revolting increase in dog poo. But this increase is only ever linked, whichever newspaper you read, to the one factor:

Please, please, please can we NOT have a year-round ban on dogs on the beach in Lyme Regis?The main reason given for such a ban is the revolting increase in dog poo. But this increase is only ever linked, whichever newspaper you read, to the one factor: it's since we lost our dog warden when he retired last year. So isn't the answer to get another dog warden?Enforce the law (bye-laws) we already have, on the beach and in town, not bring in new laws.Otherwise, all us 'good' dog-owners are punished for obeying the law, and the 'bad' guys prove they can and do get away with breaking the law. Wrong message.I was given a questionnaire about the dog ban. Its published result was 'No' to the year-round ban. Then I read that as someone didn't like this result, we'd had another questionnaire. I didn't see this one at all. Apparently its result was Yes to the ban. This is like tossing the coin until it comes up the heads or tails you wanted. How about - just to be really fair - a third questionnaire (best of 3!?) and this time, give everyone a chance to have a say; as a dog-owning parent resident in Lyme I expect to be aware of any questionnaire like this that affects me so greatly and have an opportunity to respond. Couldn't it be put through letterboxes? We're not a very big town.In case my plea on the grounds of sense (bye-laws already exist), logic (warden to enforce them), justice (not punishing the right-doers), and democracy (give everyone a voice) isn't enough, can I appeal to anyone who doesn't actually hate dogs: through the winter, if you go to the sandy beach in even the foulest weather, you'll see dogs having such a whale of a time it makes you smile! Many days, dogs and their owners are the ONLY ones on the beach. It's our bit of 'time out' when the beach is deserted, nearly empty. I can't quite put across just how much it means to me and to the dog. If I see there are others about, especially little children, then I call him after one sprint and walk him on the other 'dog,' beach - where he cannot, however, run. One of my young daughter's greatest joys is running around on the sand with her dog, limited to the winter months and therefore all the more enjoyed. Please, please don't take that away.Believe me, I don't want her playing on a poo-y beach any more than any other parent, and find dog poo on public paths and pavements as disgusting as any other resident does. But a total ban on the beach is not the answer and it's not fair.(Mrs) Linda PeiferLym CloseLyme Regis

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