Long Sutton: dogs face being banned from parks

DOGS could be banned in a town’s parks if owners continue to ignore signs instructing them to keep their pets on leads.

A number of unpleasant incidents in Long Sutton’s Winfrey and Cinder Ash parks involving dogs have prompted the parish council to look at ways of forcing owners to exercise better control – but have met with resistance and rudeness from some.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the clerk reported how she had been sworn at by one woman after she was asked to put her dog on its lead.

Previous incidents reported to the council included a child being urinated on by a dog and an attack on one dog by another, leaving it seriously injured and its owner with a hefty vets bill.

It is currently investigating a bye-law for the parks which could force owners to restrain their dogs.

But clerk Karen Treacher said: “The bye-law states dogs must be kept under control, but some people are picking up on that and saying their dogs are under control by verbal command even if they are off the lead.

“That is not how I understand it – under control means tethered.”

Chairman Ruth Barber suggested a total ban on people walking their dogs in the park could be the way forward, saying: “That little dog that was attacked could have been a child and if that happens we will never forgive ourselves.”

There was also concern that more dog owners could start walking their dogs in Long Sutton parks if bans were introduced in villages nearby.

But Coun Jack Tyrrell said he was against a ban because it would punish the majority of responsible owners.

Members agreed to put the issue on the agenda for a future meeting to give them a chance to consider the best way forward.