Britain has often been described as a ‘nation of dog lovers’ with an estimated 26 per cent of the population owning a dog.
In Worthing, we are lucky to have a beautiful beach on which to walk dogs, subject to the current summer season exclusion zone.
Dog owners enjoy numerous health and social benefits from walking their dogs, including improved fitness and wellbeing.
A few years ago Adur and Worthing councils introduced a set of dog-related Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in a number of public open spaces across Adur and Worthing – particularly parks and the beach.
These orders are due to be renewed at the end of the year and the councils are proposing a number of amendments, and have put these out to public consultation. The amendments are:
• Worthing Beach – an extension of the seasonal exclusion zone, currently Warwick Road to Heene Road. The proposed extended zone would be Warwick Road to Marine Gardens. This is an increase of around half a mile and has apparently been requested by Southern Water in order to improve sea water quality;
• Increase the fixed penalty for dog fouling from £50 to £100;
• Reduce from six to four the maximum number of dogs under the control of one person in areas covered by the PSPOs.
Many residents are angry about the proposed measures and are asking Labour councillors to oppose them. They are questioning why the council is listening to Southern Water when the company has been fined £126million by Ofwat for discharging raw sewage into rivers over a seven year period and covering up the scandal.
In addition, the company was set to make 200 local people redundant.
The extension of the beach exclusion zone will disproportionately affect residents in Central and Heene wards and, if the proposals go ahead, many dog owners will be forced into their cars to drive to the edges of the proposed exclusion zones.
How would this be helping the population of the town to reduce its carbon footprint?
The Climate Emergency demonstrations clearly that residents want more to be done to improve air quality, not less.
Please take the time to complete the consultation survey here: www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/pspo-dog-control-consultation
Councillors Jim Deen and Sally Smith
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