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Legal battle over St Ives beach dog ban

By CMJohannaCarr  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

Legal battle over St Ives beach dog ban

Comments (15)

St Ives Dog Owners' Group (DOG) is planning to launch a judicial review against the town council, it was revealed last night.
The group, which opposes the new 24-hour summertime dog bans, set to come into effect later this year, previously said it would be prepared to go to court to fight the proposals.
St Ives Mayor Ron Tulley told the council that a letter had been received which was in accordance with the pre-action protocol for a judicial review and that the council was seeking legal advice.
Last November the local authority voted to do away with the current rules that allow dog walkers onto key bathing beaches before 8am and after 7pm in the summer.
From May 1 dogs will be banned from Porthmeor, Porthminster and Porthgwidden beaches for the duration of the summer.
The council was unable to ratify this decision on Thursday night while it seeks legal advice.

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  • PennyBunn  |  February 16 2013, 11:21PM

    I'm a former holidaymaker to Cornwall and came down for years, with my dogs. As did most of my family. Originally from Yorkshire, we moved to the East Midlands and I have friends and family across Yorkshire, the East Midlands and Norfolk who previously holidayed in Cornwall on a regular basis and are now boycotting it as a result of these DCOs. St Ives Town Council have brought this extended DCO in for the benefit of a few 'mates', and have ignored the results of the public consultation they were required to hold under Defra guidelines. Essentially, I think they have broken the law and misused their position for the benefit of themselves or their friends. This doesn't seem to bother those who support the ban, whose ethical and moral status I must therefore question. At a time when Britain is in the biggest recession in decades, I'd have thought that businesses and St Ives residents would see the benefit of encouraging loyal holidaymakers to their coastline. With cheap flights abroad so widely available, I'd have thought your 'best bet' financially would be to encourage dog owners to come to your town. Dogs were already - after all - banned from the beaches during the day and all the campaigners are asking for is a return to being able to go on the beaches in the early morning and late evenings. I think the attitude of the pro-ban lobby is illustrative of the kind of intolerance and selfishness that has unfortunately become so prevalent in this country. The sea is already full of thousands of gallons of human excrement and industrial waste that are pumped into it every day; shipping pollution and the excrement and rotting bodies of millions of breeds of marine life, not to mention those who have died at sea. The tide comes up on beaches every day and washes them clean. Given that there is already so much pollution in the sea anyway, I can't see why there is all this focus on dog mess, except that dog owners are being used as a convenient scapegoat for those who want to ban them for their own personal benefit. As a former town councillor myself, I am disgusted (although not entirely surprised) that elected councillors can behave like this. I am not prepared to put money into the local economy of any area where my dogs are not welcome. As a responsible dog owner who always cleans up after my dogs, and keeps them under control, I find it personally insulting that I have been put on trial, and found 'guilty', by a group of greedy people who have never even met any of us. I notice that there are now reports that the Cornish tourist industry is suffering a drop in tourism. I am not surprised. Dog owners across the country are aware that Cornwall is (as one person put it) "closed to dog owners" and I think the 'victory' the anti-dog campaign thinks it has got at the moment will be a hollow one indeed, in the long run. I urge dog owners to avoid St Ives, because they really don't deserve our financial support. And boycott those businesses that have supported the ban. Please join 'Life's a beach - stop the extended dog ban in St Ives' and support the wonderful campaigners who are trying to overturn this gross abuse of public trust on the part of the council.

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  • StIvesregular  |  February 12 2013, 10:04PM

    Remember if you support the campaign to have the 24 hour ban over-turned you can join us. Our Twitter profile is @Stiveslovesdogs and our facebook page is http://tinyurl.com/32djv4 To donate to the charity raising money for the judicial review log on to http://tinyurl.com/ag8updl Thanks for your support. We will fight this vendetta against dog owners together.

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  • StIvesregular  |  February 12 2013, 8:16PM

    Hake4life...as the voice of the ban, can you provide us the campaign against the ban, with answers to the following? 1. Where did the call for the 24 hour bar originate from and what date was this submitted? 2. What evidence was presented to the town council in trying to convince them the ban was necessary? 3. Record of complaints on dog fouling on beaches before the date the request for the ban was submitted. 4. The number of business owners who responded to the consultation (as opposed to managers of the businesses in the same owner) 5. Details of lobbying activity - that is direct contact and targetting of elected members of St ives town council in relation to securing their support for the ban. Thanks it will help us understand what led to the decision being made.

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  • EmmaBeckley  |  February 12 2013, 5:57PM

    My family have spent many happy holidays in St Ives over the last 40 years and more recently one of the highlights is taking our Dog Jaspa for an early morning walk on Porthmeor Beach. Apart from the regular posse of dog walkers the beach has generally been deserted which is part of the charm, so I wonder how many people are negatively affected by allowing this. The majority of dog walkers ensure that they clean up after their dogs and I have rarely seen dog mess left on the beach, I have however, seen the remnants of BBQ's, bottles and general rubbish that the public have not been so careful to clear away. I don't ask for any changes to the current restrictions, I just feel that public beaches should be able to be enjoyed by all and hope that all views are considered before a final decision is made.

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  • Whitty79  |  February 12 2013, 3:05PM

    The council has behaved very badly over this issue. They spent a lot of time and money on a public consultation for these proposals. The overwhelming result was that people were happy with the rules as they stood. IE dogs being allowed on the beaches before 8am and after 7pm. This was a reasonable compromise - still not great for families who bring their family pet with them on holidays, but workable. It also meant that people who live in St Ives have somewhere they can exercise their dog adequately. Not that easy in a town where every square inch is built upon to provide holiday accommodation! Now, because they didn't get the result they wanted, the council are trying to force the issue through. Understandably, this has upset a lot of people. Bickering over which party leaves the most litter on the beach doesn't help (although FWIW I have seen far more mess left by human beings than that created by animals) - it just divides the community further. Kernowmaid - I don't agree with your assertation that children are more restricted than dogs. That simply isn't true. Chillibean has the right idea. Spend the money enforcing the rules that are already in place. Penalise those who make a mess of the beaches (in whatever form) and don't penalise those who clean up after themselves. From what I understand, local dog-owners had offered to set up a voluntary watch-scheme to police this but were not welcomed by the council who'd rather see the ban implemented.

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  • hake4life  |  February 12 2013, 8:14AM

    This is not a vendetta against anyone??? I have lived with dogs at different times in my life and loved being around them, so please don't misrepresent this. Excluding dogs from popular bathing beaches in the summer is both a lawful and reasonable use of dog control orders in sensitive recreational spaces, where the requirement to protect health and ensure the area is free from dog excrement and uncontrolled dogs is high.

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  • StIvesregular  |  February 12 2013, 7:48AM

    This responsible dog owner does not! You really are wrong to suggest that anyone who doesn't agree with your vendetta against dog owners must be irresponsible

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  • hake4life  |  February 12 2013, 7:11AM

    Concerns regarding tourism were raised when seasonal exclusions of dogs from these beaches were introduced under the Cornwall Council Act 1983.... business boomed. There is no evidence to support assertions that it will be bad for tourism - in fact there is evidence produced by Visit Cornwall, which shows that people place a high value on dog-free beaches during the summer. This is a public health issue - responsible dog owners support these restrictions

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  • StIvesregular  |  February 11 2013, 8:25PM

    It is so short-sighted of certain people to fail to see the detrimental effect this will have on tourism as a whole and the economy in St Ives. I have been coming to St Ives for the last 15 years. My family has grown over the years and we have brought our dog for the past four. If we can't bring her with us and enjoy what St Ives has to offer we will have to look elsewhere.

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  • hake4life  |  February 11 2013, 3:06PM

    Those who want to show support for some dog-free beaches can do so here: https://http://tinyurl.com/as7yomv

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      Do you think dogs should be banned from St Ives beaches in the summer?