Plea for dog beach ban

A PETITION has been launched to persuade a council to ban dogs from an Essex beach in the summer months.

A PETITION has been launched to persuade a council to ban dogs from an Essex beach in the summer months.

Margaret Skinner, who lives in Wade Reach, Walton on the Naze, said she had collected more than 250 signatures demanding an extension to the existing ban for dogs on the seafront in parts of Tendring to also cover the Walton area.

She claimed tourists were being put off by the lack of control imposed by Tendring District Council and it needed to do more to protect residents and holidaymakers.

She said many sensible dog owners in Walton were critical of the lack of restrictions imposed at the popular Albion beach in the town that was often overrun by “uncontrolled dogs” and it was time for the council to act.

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She said: “These responsible dog owners have criticised the irresponsible minority, who allow their uncontrolled dogs to knock over little children and pensioners, who sometimes need medical treatment or even hospital.”

Mrs Skinner also claimed some dog walkers would respond with “verbal abuse” if asked to clean up after their pets and that responsible owners were being given a bad name.

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Pierre Oxley, Tendring District Council's head of leisure, said he had no knowledge of tourists being put off by such behaviour and that the council's seafront officers and lifeguards would always take action if incidents took place.

A council spokesman said that while there was no set limit for the number of beaches where dog ban bylaws apply, the authority was expected to act reasonably over this issue.

“There are a large number of dog walkers in the Tendring district and we need to allow sufficient areas where they can exercise their pets,” he said.

“We have been contacted by dog walkers who feel there are too many beaches where dogs are banned and it is all about trying to strike the right balance.”

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