Dog owners to face fines
DOG owners caught with their pets on the beach at Old Felixstowe will soon face a fine of up to £500.But the move to ban poochs from a section of the award-winning beach at The Dip has been slammed by one councillor as "absolutely ridiculous".
DOG owners caught with their pets on the beach at Old Felixstowe will soon face a fine of up to £500.
But the move to ban poochs from a section of the award-winning beach at The Dip has been slammed by one councillor as "absolutely ridiculous".
Cherrie MacGregor said the ban was just not necessary.
"This is supposed to be the wild area of the resort, the part of our coast which is natural and not aimed at the tourists – it should be the ideal place to walk a dog," she said.
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"If you are a responsible dog owner there is no need for a ban. This is not right and it is not fair.
"Felixstowe does not have lots of parks like some towns, dogs are banned on the main holiday beach – which I totally agree with – but you cannot walk round Cobbold's Point because of the rocks and it just gets more and more restricted."
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The ban was put forward two years ago by Suffolk Coastal council because the animals' mess was fouling the shore and sea and it was feared it could jeopardise the area's yellow flag Seaside Award.
Irresponsible dog owners were not clearing up after their pets, creating a health risk with dog faeces accumulating on the beach.
Environmental health officers said the faeces could contribute to the bacterial content of the seawater or leave contamination on the beach itself.
Since then officers have been working on suitable by-laws, which it is hoped will be approved by the Home Office in time for this summer.
The initial proposals prompted a petition of 112 signatures with some owners asking if they could have permits if they could prove they were responsible.
The by-laws will ban dogs between May and September from the beach between Brackenbury to the south and just past the boat storage park to the north. Dogs being walked on the prom alongside and right up to the golf links must be kept on a lead.
Chris Slemmings, chairman of Felixstowe Town Council's general purposes committee, said the town council was in agreement with the ban.
There had been a compromise as the original area for the ban was larger and this had been reduced so that there were areas of shore dog owners could use.
n Dogs are already banned from the beach between the Spa Pavilion and Arwela Road from May to September.
n What do you think – should dogs be banned from the beach? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk