DOG WALKING: Disappointed in decision of parish council

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How very disappointing to hear that Sutton Bridge Parish Council has rejected the request made by their parishioners for an off-lead dog exercise area.

Being an animal lover, responsible dog owner and having been directly involved with the successful acquisition of the off-lead area in Holbeach, I feel the statement made by Michael Booth is narrow minded, out-dated and based purely on negativity.

His reason for refusal being that a dog may be attacked is unbelievably short sighted. A dog is no more likely to be attacked in an off lead area than anywhere else.

Being a dog owner he should know about “on lead” aggression which is quite common in dogs and that many dogs are more aggressive to other dogs when “on lead”.

The majority of dog owners using an off lead area will know their dogs behaviour and manage it responsibly. As in all walks of life there will always be irresponsible people. They have to be identified and treated accordingly.

Mr Booth should know it is the duty of the parish council to represent the local community and to deliver services to meet local needs. They have a duty to provide facilities for recreation and social events. They should be fulfilling these duties by working proactively with the parishioners on local projects.

Does he know of the “power of well being” which was extended out to local councils in 2008 which allows and encourages them to become more involved in local community projects and initiatives. Dog owners are rate paying parishioners too with ideas for such projects.

Fortunately in Holbeach we have a Parish Council who are forward thinking, work with the parishioners and were prepared to be radical enough to pilot scheme the concessionary off lead area. The dog area here is one of the most well used areas in Carters Park.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council need to start listening to the needs and ideas from all of their parishioners.

Loraine Walker

Holbeach