Dog beach ban - Scarborough Council decision

Scarborough Council has confirmed it will not be enforcing its seasonal dog ban on its beaches following an outcry from pet owners.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 9:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 1:24 pm
Scarborough Council will not ban dogs from beach

The authority’s deputy leader, Cllr Liz Colling, said that as the dog ban order, which will come into force on May 1, was a legal document with many strands it could not just be stopped so a different approach would be taken.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We have decided that we will not be proactively enforcing the restrictions for four weeks after it comes into force.

“After those four weeks, we will review the decision and see where the national restrictions are at that time.”

The authority announced on Friday that it would still be imposing the restrictions on May 1 despite the coronavirus pandemic keeping people away from the beaches.

At the time, council said the reasons for enforcing the ban were to help to improve the bathing water quality in the borough and that there were legal difficulties in reversing the public space protection order without a public consultation and a vote.

Within hours of the announcement, hundreds of posts had sprung up online from residents calling on the council to change its mind.

A petition was also started calling on the authority to let dog owners make full use of the beaches in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

Last week the RSPCA also called on councils to relax public space protection orders to stop dog owners from having to travel far to walk their pets.

A spokesman for Scarborough Borough Council said: “The seasonal dog ban comes into force on an annual basis from May 1 each year and is nothing new.

"It helps ensure our beaches and bathing waters are as clean as possible. We can’t simply relax the ban as it is covered by a legal protection order, which includes several other offences.

"Instead, given the circumstances and feedback, we will not proactively enforce the ban for the first four weeks of the new season. We’ll review this decision at the beginning of June.”