Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A FOOTBALL club chairman has said it is essential dogs are banned from sport playing fields, despite many pet lovers getting hot under the collar over the issue.
North Somerset Council is currently holding a public consultation as it considers whether to restrict the number of places where dogs can be walked or roam freely without the use of a lead.
Mark Williams, chairman of Cleeve Football Club, who play in King George V Playing Fields, said it was essential the council carried through with the idea to protect sportsmen and children.
He said: “The bottom line is that it is a playing field, with a children’s play area first and foremost and therefore the health and safety of the majority of people that use it for sporting and play activities must take priority.”
In Yatton there is a complete ban on dogs in Rock Road and Hangstones playing fields and Mr Williams said he could not understand the lack of consistency.
He added: “Nobody I have spoken to, including dog owning friends can understand why dogs are allowed to roam freely on a space designated for sports and children.
“We understand many people are responsible owners and I sympathise with them. But there is too much evidence of this problem over the years for us to accept the status quo.
“Any measure in our eyes is a good measure, if it helps reduce and hopefully eliminate such an antisocial health hazard.
“Anyone standing in the way of such proposals is behaving in an unbelievably arrogant and selfish manner. People have the right to enjoy a clean playing environment, free from the vile deposits left behind by dogs.”
The council has proposed 25 orders including three in Weston. Other areas where orders may be introduced are Banwell, Bleadon, Redhill, Wrington, Locking, Winscombe and Hutton.
For an online consultation form visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/dogcontrolorders2012 or visit any council-run library. The deadline for replies is June 30.