ePetition - Dog-free areas in Queen's Park

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ePetition details

Dog-free areas in Queen's Park

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to review the operation of the dog control order in Queens Park, and to return all areas to the dog-free status which they enjoyed prior to January 2009. We are dismayed to learn that the council Dog Control Order which came into force in January 2009 has overturned historic arrangements which were arrived at through community negotiation and campaigning. Permitting dogs free access to the southern lawns threatens the health and enjoyment of users of this popular space and undermines the value of the lake as a habitat for birds. We believe that the historic ‘dog friendly’ area of the northern lawn is an adequate and convivial space for those wishing to exercise their dogs, and that the council consultation failed to take account of specific local issues and arrangements, or to adequately seek out local opinion and has created an imbalance between the needs of those affected by dogs and the needs of those seeking to exercise dogs in Queens Park, where none previously existed.

In the 1970’s, and following a popular community campaign highlighting the problem of dog fouling in Queens Park, the southern lawns around the clocktower and down to the lake were declared ‘dog free’ leaving the northern lawns below North Drive as an area for exercising dogs. This arrangement has worked well over the past 30 years with a strong community of dog owners meeting daily in the northern area, and the southern lawns used extensively for family picnics, games and general leisure, as well as a habitat and feeding area for ducks, geese and other birds living on and around the lake.

Friends of Queens Park support this petition.

Started by: rachel fryer

This ePetition ran from 19/03/2010 to 14/07/2010 and has now finished.

375 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

The Cabinet Member for Environment gave the following response on 26 July 2010:

“The original Dog Control Order was made following the Environment Committee meeting on 7 June 2007, Cabinet meeting on 12 June 2008, and a Notice of Motion at Full Council on 17 July 2008. All Members were fully aware of the changes to dog control. The purpose of the new Dog Control Order was to provide a consistent, clear, fair, enforceable, framework of rules for dog control.

There have been two petitions and a deputation at Council. The Friends of Queens Park have requested a return to Southern Lawns being dog free. A second petition supported the current set of rules. The deputation to Full Council on 15 July has also been passed to this meeting, explaining that the 1900 signatory petition has the support of the local MP, councillors, schools and community groups.

I would have preferred a consensus before I determine the best course of action and I appreciate this subject attracts strong and opposing views. On balance, in view of the number and range of people supporting a change, I believe that it is in the best interests of the public to call for officers to start the statutory consultation process proposing that the Southern Lawns return to their dog free status.”

 


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