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St Ives councillors vote to ban dogs from bathing beaches

By CMScott  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

Dog Ban

Monty the chocolate labrador enjoys Porthmeor Beach in the summer sun. Alban Roinard

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ST Ives councillors last night voted for a complete ban on dogs on the town's main bathing beaches during the summer months.

In a packed meeting councillors 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 next year dogs will be banned from Porthmeor, Porthminster and Porthgwidden beaches for the duration of the summer.

The new ban – proposed by St Ives Town Council's environment committee – was passed by ten votes to five despite a public consultation showing more than two thirds of respondents were against it.

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Councillors voting for the ban said they had been clear from the start that the consultation was not a referendum, and that they had given weight to the strength of concerns raised rather than the number.

They said the consultation raised serious concerns about dog fouling and dog nuisance from members of the public and from the businesses that manage the beaches.

Councillors voting against said problems had only been raised once the consultation was launched and were still outweighed by the number of people opposing a ban.

Concerns have also been raised about the potential cost of enforcing a ban, although beach managers and businesses have offered to provide signage and to train their staff to support the ban.

Harbour Beach in St Ives is to remain available for dog walking before 8am and after 7pm, and Carbis Bay is to have an evening ban in the summer, but to be open to dogs between 5am and 8am.

Areas of beach at Lambeth Walk and Bamaluz will be kept open for dogs and councillors have voted to investigate removing boulders and renovating steps to make them more accessible.

A separate order has also been made for all dogs to be kept on a lead on the footpath to Porthkidney beach.

After the meeting St Ives resident Mark Noall, who spoke for the ban, said: "These are the premier bathing beaches in the country. Seasonal exclusions ensure they are going to be as clean and safe as possible."

Barbara Nolan of the St Ives Dog Owners Group said: "They didn't listen to the consultation. They've had a consultation and now they've ignored it."

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  • OPINION2  |  May 04 2013, 11:00AM

    Good, I'm glad there's a ban on dogs on our main tourist beaches. They are everywhere and for people who don't own or even like dogs there is nowhere we can go and be free of them. The owners seem to think their PETS are human and have rights - dogs don't pay their Council Tax, I do. Nobody is stopping the owners walking along the beach whenever they like, all we are asking is that they are considerate enough to leave their pets at home while they do so during the SUMMER (only!) months. As one who has had to wash dog faeces from between the toes of my children after playing on the beach (disgusting) I am glad the sensible people on this planet have made the right decision. If it stops people bringing their dogs on holiday and clogging up our streets with smelly mess and extendable leads then GOOD.

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  • Leechy  |  November 10 2012, 9:24AM

    Hope there won't be more dog mess in the streets now. Dog poo is much easier to pick up from the sand than the pavement / road. That is one reason why your beaches and streets are so clear of dog mess. Try picking it up from the pavement when the dogs bowels are, shall we say loose. I am sure the clever people who want the ban have thought of that.

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  • Fuzzyfuzzball  |  November 10 2012, 12:30AM

    The mockery is taken one step further. I know this is a rhetorical question to those that are thinking this is a fair response to the consultation. Why after all of the reasons given for banning dogs do they allow them on the Carbis Bay beach in the morning? Any reasonable debate has been removed, this is now a case of what suits the Council to save face. They could have left things as they are but no, they took it one step further. The Town Council cannot expect this to go quietly, they wanted a simple system and now the have two systems operating in a radius of two miles, how do they expect people to follow that? I holiday in Carbis Bay and go on the beach, one morning I walk into St Ives, same rules apply you would think? the whole thing stinks and I for one will probably get confused given my limited thinking ability.

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  • fiftysomethin  |  November 09 2012, 4:30PM

    by rt1379 "then take the dogs to France" !" I just did, I spent my 2k walking my dogs where and when I wanted on any beach, they always have a great time in France, believe me when you see so many British people at the channel ports taking their dogs abroad you realise just how much tourist money is being spent outside of Britain. When in Cornwall I never walk my extremely well behaved dogs on the St Ives beaches, the beaches are too small and packed with badly behaved children and too much litter, however I do (did) spend considerable amounts in the local shops and restaurants. I, like many other people, made the effort to respond to the 'consultation' and expected the process to be followed through legally and with consideration given to all points raised by both sides, this has not happened. This does not make the issue a war between the pro and anti dog groups as there was plenty of scope to improve the current situation thus suiting both groups but the councillors chose to ignore all the information provided to them by co-operative dog owning groups and individuals. I also do not know of any person who has ever chosen to holiday in a British resort because it has a blue flag beach, surely the St Ives councillors should be making every effort to encourage everyone they can to the town not alienating any group, can the town really afford to lose anyone's money at this time. They have also disregarded the opinions of local people, the people who vote for them, that is plain ignorant.

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  • Whitty79  |  November 09 2012, 1:47PM

    I cannot believe that this has been passed against the swell of public opinion. This makes an absolute mockery of democracy. Not only have the council acted outrageously, they have wasted huge amounts of time and money on a consultation they clearly had no intention of listening to! I have been bringing my dogs to St Ives several times a year for the last 10 years. I have always enjoyed the fact that they are welcome in many of the pubs in the town (sadly not the case where I live) and they've always enjoyed the beaches with us. It would have been nice to take them on the beaches with us in the summer days but we understood the rules and abided by them, making use of the beaches out of hours to exercise the dogs. We will no longer be able to bring them in June & September as there is nowhere, now, in St Ives to exercise them sufficiently. The streets are far too busy and without the outlet of a run off the lead morning and night they would not be happy. And neither would we. We will need to find somewhere we are not persecuted. And it may well be that we find somewhere just as nice that is more than happy to take our money and not treat our dogs as something to be shut away out of sight. In which case, we probably go there in December & February as well and kiss St Ives goodbye. I know we are just two loyal St Ives visitors and that there are many, many more to take our places. But if everyone with dogs behave in the same way - there will be a marked drop in visitors to the town. Not good when your main income is tourism. So much for England being a nation of dog-lovers!

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  • Whitty79  |  November 09 2012, 1:47PM

    I cannot believe that this has been passed against the swell of public opinion. This makes an absolute mockery of democracy. Not only have the council acted outrageously, they have wasted huge amounts of time and money on a consultation they clearly had no intention of listening to! I have been bringing my dogs to St Ives several times a year for the last 10 years. I have always enjoyed the fact that they are welcome in many of the pubs in the town (sadly not the case where I live) and they've always enjoyed the beaches with us. It would have been nice to take them on the beaches with us in the summer days but we understood the rules and abided by them, making use of the beaches out of hours to exercise the dogs. We will no longer be able to bring them in June & September as there is nowhere, now, in St Ives to exercise them sufficiently. The streets are far too busy and without the outlet of a run off the lead morning and night they would not be happy. And neither would we. We will need to find somewhere we are not persecuted. And it may well be that we find somewhere just as nice that is more than happy to take our money and not treat our dogs as something to be shut away out of sight. In which case, we probably go there in December & February as well and kiss St Ives goodbye. I know we are just two loyal St Ives visitors and that there are many, many more to take our places. But if everyone with dogs behave in the same way - there will be a marked drop in visitors to the town. Not good when your main income is tourism. So much for England being a nation of dog-lovers!

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  • PennyB  |  November 08 2012, 10:39PM

    Well, you are, of course, absolutely entitled to your personal opinion, because we live in a democracy and anyway, I wouldn't begrudge anybody having their own personal views on any subject. But when you are in the MINORITY, and you were very much in the minority in this case, then you should surely have the grace to accept that the views of the majority should prevail? That is how I view these things, anyway. If the majority had voted against the DCO, then although dog owners would have been very upset, I am sure the majority view would have been respected. But the majority DIDN'T want the ban, and they've been ridden roughshod over. Whichever side of the debate you're on, you must surely see that that is wrong, in every way it's possible for it to be wrong? It'd be like your party in the General Election winning a landslide victory (as we did - two thirds opposed the DCO and only one third of voters wanted it) and then being shoved into the Shadow Cabinet anyway because the opposing side decided they were going into parliament anyway! It's wrong, just so, so wrong, and something has to be done about it. Regarding your German Shepherd - PLEASE don't bring it to Nottingham! I say this because I'd be concerned for the dog, and indeed, for YOU. Nottingham is a VILE place - it really is George Orwell's '1984' brought to life! - where even those who live rough on the streets have a code that you "get out of the town centre by 8pm"! Your lovely dog would be terrified, I think, and you'd start to grasp what it is REALLY like to live in a hellish dictatorship!

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  • rt1379  |  November 08 2012, 10:32PM

    Personal opinions ... nothing more, nothing less.. MY personal opinion is that dogs should not be on any beach during the summer ... (there are discarded, filthy babies' nappies, sharp shards of glass and rusting metal, broken tins and cans, polystyrene cups and plates, bits of knives, and FISH HOOKS washed up on the beach.).. ...if things were this bad I would visit somewhere else .... maybe i'll bring the German Shepherd to Nottingham...

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  • PennyB  |  November 08 2012, 10:17PM

    What is it you think your dog is going to do? All over Britain's beaches, there are discarded, filthy babies' nappies, sharp shards of glass and rusting metal, broken tins and cans, polystyrene cups and plates, bits of knives, and FISH HOOKS washed up on the beach. All of it left by people, not dogs. So, you can hardly claim that anything dogs do is more dangerous than all of that lot. Swim in the sea and you're swimming in the excrement of millions of sea creatures, the rotting remains of sea creatures and HUMANS who've died at sea, millions of tonnes of human excrement and waste that are pumped into the sea every day, plus of course, millions of gallons of toxic waste which - despite the sterling efforts of the environmental charities - still continues today. What is it that you think your dog is going to do that is more lethal, or dangerous, than all of that lot? If your argument is that the leeetle children shouldn't be near dogs, I can't see how that holds up, either. MOST dogs are not vicious and the people who believe the scare-stories they read in the press are just being duped. Those stories are news BECAUSE they are unusual. If dog attacks were an everyday occurrence, I'm afraid they would cease to be 'news'. I worked in television for 13 years, so I do hope you'll believe me when I say I know what I'm talking about on this subject. Children need to understand how to behave around all animals, including dogs. They should be taught to respect and treat kindly the other creatures with which we share this planet. That INCLUDES how to share the beach. They should be taught, by responsible parents (as my generation were) how to behave around dogs and what to do if one approaches you. For anyone who doesn't know, Victoria Stilwell has a very good blog on the subject of Families, Children and Dogs and I highly recommend it - although it's only the same, sensible advice that was handed down to children for many generations and I don't understand why it isn't being passed on now. If the next generation of children grow up uneducated and without any understanding of dogs, then the amount of dogs that ARE vicious and abandoned in dogs homes will go through the roof and this country WILL, then, have a serious problem with dangerous dogs. The best solution is for us all to live together in civil fashion, understanding the needs of others and playing fair when deciding who gets to do what, and where. This DCO consultation has in no way been 'fair', but has - as one councillor admitted to the papers only the other week - been something they were 'talked in to'. It wasn't necessary - dogs were banned during the daytime on all your beaches in high season anyway - and it is therefore fair to say that the anti-dog brigade had already got their way. People in St Ives seem to have been happy with the arrangement you had and therefore, it seems most unfair to now insist they can't even go on the beach at night! If you want to say that a grossly unfair consultation like this is acceptable, then you also have to give up your own right to have a say over the things that matter to YOU. You can't approve of a dictatorship when it suits you and then demand that your 'rights' are recognised when it doesn't. Dogs have done NOTHING WRONG. There is NO EVIDENCE against the dog owners. Most people who commented in the research papers done prior to the consultation were complaining about high parking charges and lack of toilet facilities, neither of which seem to be being addressed. And you also need to consider your tourist industry, like it or not. The number of people who contacted the council to oppose the DCO is indicative of the strength of feeling about the issue and it really IS committing commercial suicide to ignore their voices.

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  • rt1379  |  November 08 2012, 10:02PM

    by PennyB.. I don't see this as anything at all to do with democratic rights .... its a display of common sense. And just for the record, I wouldn't dream of taking my dog onto those beaches during the summer ... its just not right!

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