Dog wags the tail

I USED to live in Sompting, where I enjoyed many happy times walking my dog in Brooklands Park.

We now live in Durham but still maintain contact with several friends we met through dog walking.

Even between the years of 1992 to 2004, Worthing Borough Council was trying to introduce various restrictions on people’s leisure.

It has always seemed to me the council’s idea of consultation is to post notices behind a cabinet in the basement somewhere, so no one can see it, then introduce its petty restrictions and closures whilst claiming everyone had the opportunity to oppose but no one did.

Why can’t these bureaucrats realise they are there to serve the public, not dictate to them?

The vast majority of responsible dog owners would agree with many of the proposed restrictions as they are sensible and seek only to enforce what good owners are already doing. However, the exclusion order proposed for Brooklands Golf Course can only be interpreted as closure of a large part of the park “by the back door”.

How can a faceless, unelected official deprive the home owners on Seamill Park Avenue and Seamill Park Crescent of the rights they bought when they acquired those properties?

One is left to wonder if these measures are inspired by the golfers and not local residents.

The footpath that runs down the western side of the golf course adjacent to the rear of those properties has been a public right of way for at least 40 years. Indeed, it was a road prior to the work in 1992-94 which saw the construction of the outfall pipe.

I hope the public indignation and anger aroused by these proposals will prevail and the bureaucrats will be sent scurrying back to their little empires and they will learn once and for all that they are servants, meant to serve.

After all, it is supposed to be the dog that wags the tail, not the other way around. (Pardon the pun).

Ian Bateman

Osprey Close

Esh Winning

Durham