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St Ives beach dog ban recommended by councillors

By CMJacqui  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

Dogs Alvin and Kota on the beach at St Ives.

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"THE MOST contentious issue ever to have come before St Ives Town Council" resulted in councillors calling for a ban on dogs on some of the town's most popular beaches last night.
A 24-hour seasonal ban on dogs on Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Carbis Bay was recommended by the council's environment committee after a lengthy debate in the council chamber.
A daytime ban would be imposed on Harbour Beach in the summer months, while a recommendation that dogs should be kept on leads on the path leading to Porthkidney Sands was made. Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk would remain dog friendly beaches.
Cllr Terry Tonkin told councillors during the meeting last night that the issue of whether to ban dogs on beaches in the town was the most contentious he had come across since joining the council in 1974.

Cllr Andrew Mitchell said he was upset at the way in which the issue had divided the town and generated open hostility.

The council received almost 1,000 letters in response to its consultation on the issue, as well as a petition of nearly 4,000 signatures against a proposed banning order.

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St Ives town clerk Louise Dowe said: "I have been quite surprised at the tone in some of the open forum meetings. The town council is trying to find a way to bring about something that is fair for everybody.

"It was never a referendum. It was quite indicative to see how many people said 'yes' or 'no' but a great amount of weight was put on the comments that came in."

Barbara Nolan, of St Ives Dog Owners' Group (DOG), said some members had walked out of the meeting in tears but the group would not be giving up.

"I think it is not what the consultation wanted but they seem to think that the consultation doesn't matter which is a bit perplexing because the consultation was completely against the proposals," she said.

"There was no block of complaints in the first place. The beaches have continued to get the best beach awards over the last five years. Clearly there is not a problem but that evidence was not put forward.

"Public opinion doesn't seem to count with a couple of the councillors. One thing is for certain – that we are not going to accept it. But we are going to wait to see what happens at the main council meeting."

The recommendations put forward by the environment committee last night were as follows:

  • Porthminster, Porthmeor, Porthgwidden and Carbis Bay – 24-hour ban on dogs from the Sunday before Easter to the end of September.
  • Harbour Beach – ban on dogs between 7am and 8pm from May to the end of September, with a possibility the ban may be extended to the Sunday before Easter
  • Porthkidney Sands – dogs must be kept on leads on the path down to the beach, but dogs allowed on the beach
  • Bamaluz and Lambeth Walk – dog friendly beaches at all times

The recommendations will now go before a full meeting of St Ives Town Council on November 7.

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  • MollysMum  |  November 12 2012, 8:55AM

    Yes, Debbie. They've shown themselves to be totally incompetent. The pro-Ban Councillors are:- Williams, Andrews, Mitchell, Tonkin, Laity, Fry, Isaacs, Tanner, Armstrong, Slack. (Symons couldn't find time to be there). Take note of their incompetence when they need re-election.

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  • Debbie63  |  November 11 2012, 5:50PM

    After attending the town council meeting on Wednesday 7th November , I was utterly disgusted with the way voting went , 3 councilors stood up and said they were confused as to what they were voting for !!! They all seemed very confused with the voting process , and there was one councillor missing from the vote. one idea put forward was to allow dogs onto porthmeor beach up untill 8am and then after 7 in the evening , we were all delighted at this , as at least we were going to get one safe beach to walk our dogs on , but due to all the confusion 2 of our councilors against the ban failed to vote for us . The whole meeting was a complete farce and we as dog lovers have very much missed out .

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  • MollysMum  |  November 10 2012, 12:03PM

    Anyone see that ridiculous Isaacs bloke on TV? I'm not calling him a liar, but it's easy enough to "claim" that someone posted dogmess through their letterbox. Can't really imagine anyone doing that, but it's a good tactic to get public opinion on your side, isn't it.

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  • MollysMum  |  November 05 2012, 11:39AM

    UpCountryGuy , Lifeguards HAVE been queried about the frequency of seeing dog mess on Porthmeor, and they said it was very very rare. As I said earlier, I've walked daily along Porthmeor and the Harbour and Bamaluz for a Year, and not even seen ONE dog mess. I'm not lying, nor blind. I look out for people who may ignore their dog's mess, and am prepared to confront them, and educate them.....but thankfully it hasn't happened, although some of the pavements and Ayr Park are kneedeep. I've twice witnessed owners doing this, and given them bags to pick it up. Guess what: these owners were teenagers out in the dark. It was pretty clear their parents told them to "pick up", but they looked around in the dark, and thought they could get away with it! When mentioning "vicious dogs", you should really concentrate more on "vicious parents". I was confronted on Porthmeor by a Parent with bulging eyes and hatred in his eyes. He confronted me, and TOLD me to keep my soft dog (who was 20 yards away) from his child. I told him he should try to control himself for the good of his child instead of being so aggressive. He swore at me in front of the child, and I walked away while he was still shouting at me. I'd like to bet that the child grows up hating dogs.........and ends up as a Councillor!

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  • PennyB  |  November 04 2012, 7:54PM

    Don't be so bally stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • upcountryguy  |  November 04 2012, 6:57PM

    As I say what's wrong with a designated area for dogs off the leash and surely any space given is suitable . Also education doesn't come into it when a strange dog with sharp teeth comes close to a child's face there is every chance that it could bite. Dogs do maul kids and disfigure them for life or even kill them they only need to lose control for a second. I'm not sure if that's true that councils by law HAVE to provide any area for dogs to run? Does that law cover just dogs ? how about horses? or ferrets they are pets too? From the sounds of it you prefer the company of canines to children, do you think others felt the same way when you were a child?

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  • PennyB  |  November 04 2012, 2:04PM

    One final comment to those of you who think that dogs should be kept on leads at all times - that is the BEST WAY to guarantee that they turn vicious! Which you would know, if you had any idea at all about dogs, or what their needs are. If you want to GUARANTEE yourselves a nation full of dangerous dogs, you go ahead and push for them to be on leads all the time. Do check this with any and all vets/dog experts (you will find plenty of sites online). Leads are a necessity in circumstances where dogs need to be kept out of danger (walking by the roadside, for example), but cause more problems than they solve in the long-term. I'm damned sure you'd rather have bouncy dogs on the beach (who are, at the end of the day, only excited and enjoying their holidays, just like your children are - but for some reason, it's NOT ALLOWED for dogs to be happy on the beach!) than savage ones, frustrated by a lifetime of being effectively chained up!

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  • PennyB  |  November 04 2012, 1:58PM

    Dog owners are obligated by law to exercise their dogs off leash and NOT keep them on leads all the time, including on beaches. Councils are obligated by law to provide space where dogs can be exercised off leash, and that doesn't include some tiny stretch of beach in a working harbour. Children should be brought up to understand how to behave round dogs, rather than having uneducated parents putting their own fears and lack of understanding onto their children. Long-term, that will benefit nobody. I do not see how or why dog owners should be expected to pander to the demands of neurotic parents. Funnily enough, it doesn't seem to work the other way round - I'm sick of going to expensive restaurants, only to have my meal utterly ruined by having someone else's brats running riot all over the restaurant, disrupting everybody else's enjoyment and leaving havoc in their wake. Funny - none of THOSE parents ever do anything, despite the fact that it's plain and obvious that their brats are spoiling it for everybody else. Might I suggest that some parents ought to put their KIDS on leads, so the rest of us don't have to put up with them?!

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  • upcountryguy  |  November 04 2012, 9:26AM

    I don't mind dogs going on the beach as long as they are kept on a leash, creating a designated area to let the dogs off like at Perranporth seems to work ok but I can't stand it out of season when they are let off the lead to run riot everywhere by many people who don't seem to try and control them. When you have small children it's quite threatening when some of the dogs are face high or bigger than them. I've not seen much dog mess on beaches . Maybe there should be a survey done with how much dog mess life guards see around as they would have a better perspective. As always it's the irresponsible dog owners who ruin for the rest.

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  • PennyB  |  November 02 2012, 9:55PM

    Personally, I don't find it acceptable to shove dog walkers off ANY beach for the lengths of time that are being propose by the council. Leaving the dog owners with only a small, working harbour beach to go at sounds to me like it will be dangerous for both dogs AND owners and I'm sorry, it just isn't fair to boot dog walkers off every beach EXCEPT that one, through the night. Blue Flag status is, I realise, to blame for a lot of these illegal DCOs - and be clear on this, Pastygirl, it IS illegal to break the Defra rules to the extent that St Ives Council have done - but the council's own documentation shows that most people don't have a clue what Blue Flag status is all about. Furthermore, for councils to be going to THESE lengths to garner themselves a Blue Flag award, is rather desperate, in my opinion. We all frown on the memories of the 'bad old days', when people were segregated thanks to their creed or colour, but here in Good Old Britain, a whole new wave of segregation is being introduced, and the people on the receiving end of it are the dog owners who have done nothing whatsoever to deserve such persecution! This case has been reported to Defra, and with luck, will be investigated. You should be ashamed of yourself, if you think it is so damned reasonable to shove an entire group of people onto a dangerous beach during night time only, when people like you have 'enjoyed' your day there, basking in the Blue Flag status! A disgrace!

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