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Record number of people respond to dog beach ban survey

Record number of people respond to dog beach ban survey

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 5th October 2019.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A survey asking for people’s views on dog beach bans has received the biggest response to a consultation launched by Cornwall Council.

More than 6,200 people have taken part in the questionnaire since it launched a month ago and there are still eight weeks before it closes.

The response is the highest ever recorded by the council, smashing through the previous record holder – again for dog beach bans – in 2016 which received more than 5,000 responses.

Cornwall Council is undertaking the consultation over its Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which are due to expire in 2020.

Before the council can review the current orders it has to ask the public for its views.

Dogs on beaches

PSPOs are used to enforce bans on dogs on beaches and set out which beaches dogs are allowed on and what times they can be exercised on the sand. There are currently 48 in place in Cornwall.

In the two years since the current PSPOs were put in place the council says it has had feedback from people about the administration and enforcement of the orders which “indicates that any amendments to existing PSPOs need careful consideration”.

Since April 2017 the council has received 288 complaints and enquiries about the existing PSPOs for dogs on beaches.

Of those 208 were complaints about dogs on beaches and enforcement; 49 were general enquiries about the restrictions; five were requests for increased restrictions; 10 were requests for less restrictions, one was for better signage and 15 were for other reasons.

A report which went to councillors ahead of the consultation stated: “The highest number of complaints and requests for enforcement patrols relate to those beaches with 24-hour dog restrictions from from 1st April to 30th September, such as the beaches in Falmouth, Porthtowan and Polzeath. Many of these complaints are made early morning and in the evening, when the enforcement resource is limited or non-existent.

“Across the county 51 fixed penalty notices were issued for dogs on beaches offences and a large proportion of fixed penalty notices served were issued by Newquay Town Council who employ their own enforcement officer who was authorised and trained by Cornwall Council.”

surf

One of the changes to the PSPOs which the council is considering and has included in the survey is whether seasonal bans should be harmonised so they start and end on the same date.

This would make it easier to publicise with residents and visitors then knowing the rules for all beaches covered by orders and not having to find out restrictions for individual beaches.

However the council is also looking at whether the PSPOs could be more localised and give parish and town councils more say and control over the orders in their areas.

The PSPO consultation is set to continue until November 19th with a report set to go before councillors in January 2020 with recommendations for any changes.

You can take part in the consultation here.

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