Cemetery dog ban to be relaxed?

Dean Road cemetery.The dogs banned sign on one of the gates into Dean Road Cemetery'Picture by Neil Silk  114132d
Dean Road cemetery.The dogs banned sign on one of the gates into Dean Road Cemetery'Picture by Neil Silk 114132d

Scarborough Council is about to launch a public consultation on its dog controls, including issues of dog fouling, dogs on leads, dog bans, and dogs on leads by direction – a power which has been used in other parts of the country.

One idea would allow dogs into Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery if they are kept on leads.

Dog owners in Scarborough welcomed the move to consult people on the proposed changes.

Liz Blades, a shop owner from the Castle Ward, said she hoped people would be allowed to walk their dogs through the cemetery because it would make the area more secure.

She added: “I love going there. If people are allowed to walk there with their dogs there’s more chance that things will get spotted.”

She said that a minority of irresponsible owners gave a bad name to the majority and that there was a need for more dog wardens across the Scarborough area.

James Hodgson, a hotel porter from Filey Road, said he agreed with the consultation and felt it was a good idea allowing dogs into the cemetery as long as they were under control. He said: “It will make it more clear so you know where you stand and where you can and cannot let them off the lead.”

Mark Witherington, a pub landlord from Gristhorpe, said there were a lot of dog lovers across the area and they had to be aware of their responsibilities. He said: “If they are going to start making it stricter then you have got to play by the rules.”

He agreed that a minority of irresponsible owners gave the rest a bad name. He said: “It’s the same in all walks of life there’s always one bad apple.”

Stephen Rawlings, from Esplanade, said the consultation was a good idea as long as people’s views were taken on board. He added: “I think there are plenty of places to walk dogs but if the cemetery is an area where people want to walk dogs then it is a good idea – provided they are under control.”

He said fouling was only a problem when people did not pick up after their dogs. He added: “The majority of dog owners are responsible. Dogs are expensive to look after and feed so it goes hand in hand really.”

Andy Skelton, the council’s head of environmental services, said there had been a number of changes over the years in the way that councils made and enforced dog control rules. He added: “Most of the existing dog control byelaws were introduced more than 20 years ago and the controls on some sites need reviewing.

“We have tried to incorporate the views and requests of various local organisations into the draft proposals and subject to the agreement of councillors will be consulting widely to establish if the proposed changes are supported.

“In reviewing the dog controls it is important to try and get the balance right between meeting the needs of the wider public and not placing unreasonable restrictions on dog owners and we will be pleased to hear from dog owners, residents and local organisations on this issue.”

A council report – Review of Dog Controls in the Borough – is due to be discussed by members of the Cabinet on Tuesday and, if it gets official approval, the three-month public consultation process is due to begin next month.

The report was written by Steve Pogson, the council’s health and community safety manager, who said that different controls had been introduced over a number of years and the review should bring consistency to the rules.

He added that the new area – dogs on leads by direction – could help control nuisance dogs. He said: “It allows an authorised officer make an owner keep a dog on a lead where there is evidence that the dog has been a nuisance to other people or wildlife.”