If readers remember, in my role as Cornwall Councillor, I asked for Porthleven West Sands dog banning order to be reviewed in-light of legislation changes in the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 and Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014.
Listening to all sides I put forward an alternative ban period for Porthleven West to Cornwall Council. This was also supported by Porthleven Town Council. These changes have now been legally accepted by the signing of the Cornwall Council Public Space Protection (Dogs on Beaches) Order 2017.
The new Order for Porthleven West will come into force on the 1st May and be as follows:
- Dogs on beaches will be banned between the hours of 9.00am and 7.00pm;
- From 1 May to 30 September of each year.
New signage will be installed in the next week or so. This is a change from the 7am to 7pm ban from April till October. There are no changes for access to the beach for dogs East of Blue Buoy Steps.
Timings and periods on all other beaches can be found HERE
There are exemptions as this Order does not apply to any person who:
- Is registered as a blind person in a register compiled under Section 29 or the National Assistance Act 1948; or
- Is deaf, in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dog for Deaf People and upon which he relies for assistance; or
- Has a disability which requires being in charge of an Assistance Dog registered with Assistance Dogs UK and upon which he relies for assistance.
The Government has introduced new legislation to control dogs in public spaces. With that in mind, Cornwall Council has decided to apply the new legislation on beaches in Cornwall.
The Council is proposing to change the existing Dog Control Orders (DCOs) currently in place to Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). These DCO’s control dogs on designated beaches in Cornwall.
Fear not, the Council proposes to incorporate the same conditions, times, dates and durations, that are currently in place, in the new PSPO – meaning dogs would be allowed on designated beaches at the same times as they are allowed now.
However, whilst the proposal is to keep the status-quo, I believe this is also a good time to look at the existing changes to see if they still work – hence this blog post.
Back in the day when I was at Kerrier DC, I asked for a change of the blanket ban during the summer/holiday seasonal months on Porthleven West beach. This was because local dog owners felt this was unfair to be banned from their local beach for over seven-months. This was accepted (with public backing) and now the restriction only applies between 7am and 7pm. There are no restrictions east of Blue Buoy Steps.
The question is should we relook at the current times of the restriction? For instance we could remove those restrictions; or just leave them as they are? I do think the ban is a little too early. Maybe this ban could start on the first May Bank Holiday? Please let me know your views.
At this stage I see no merit in banning dogs completely. One reason for this Porthleven’s tidal patterns and high water mark wash this beach twice a day and therefore clears any mess left by irresponsible dog owners.
The link below to view a list of the beaches with existing dog controls that Cornwall Council propose to include in the new PSPO’s.
View the list of beaches, orders and exclusions
The consultation finishes on January 12th 2017.
I know people are going to say certain dog owners flout this law, and yes people are also going to say there needs to be more dog wardens, but dog warden or not, you should not take your dog on the beach during the restricted times.
Dogs on beaches, another one of those subjects that splits public opinion. Should they be allowed on beaches, and if so should they be limited to certain times and beaches? That’s just a few questions raised at the newly formed Single Issue Panel (SIP) on this subject.
I am not on this Panel, but I decided to attend due to the fact most of my Electoral Division is on the coast, and any decision could effect those I represent. The current policies on allowing dogs onto beaches is confusing to say the least. This is partly due to the 6 former District Councils having different policies and by-laws. Even in the old areas not all beaches were treated the same. It’s a little confusing to know where you stand if you want to take a dog onto a beach. I don’t envy this Panel, as I believe they have a difficult job to do in trying to make sense of it all. It’s going to be a lot of work for those 5 Councillors who sit on this Panel.
What I did find informative was clarification on certain parts of the law, enforcement and fines concerning dog fowling. It turns out that all Cornwall Council staff can be authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN). Even authorising a few extra staff would over come the problem of a lack of Dog Wardens. Also, Cornwall Councillors can be authorised too. Now that’s an interesting concept. Instead Cllrs moaning about lack of enforcement, they could help to solve it.
It also turns out that non-Cornwall Council staff can also be authorised as long as they complete the DEFRA approved course. This costs £1000 for 15 people and lasts for one day. If Town and Parish Councils become authorised, they keep the fines from the FPNs. Maybe that will be an incentive for them to get authorised. To be honest I got more out of the clarification on the law as the advice I’ve been given previously had been incorrect.
Maybe if every dog owner picked up their dogs mess there would be no need for enforcement and fines, but that of course is the $64,000 question as to why they don’t.
I have had a few requests from residents of Porthleven for a railing to be fitted at the bottom of Blue Buoy Steps. Theses steps leading onto the beach are steep, but are also well used. One reason for their high usage is these are the only steps that you can access the beach whilst the ban of dogs on beaches is active.
An early meeting this morning (8:15) with an officer from Cornwall Council has produced a result. It has been agreed that a railing will be fitted to these steps. The railing will be fitted as soon as it can be placed into the work plan. I hope this should not take more than six weeks.
I am grateful to the officer in coming out so early, and more importantly, agreeing with my request.
A few months ago, I asked residents about amending the current dog beach ban for Porthleven Beach. As highlighted HERE. I put forward a series of changes which were also supported by Porthleven Town Council.
I am pleased to say Cornwall Council have agreed to this request for a change and will be officially changed from the current ban period and timings. The ban will now start on the 1st May and end on the 30th September. The hours of the ban have also changed and will be between 9am and 6pm. The previous ban period and timings were from Easter Day till the 1st October and from 7am to 7pm.
There is no changes to the beach East of Blue Buoy Steps with access for dogs all year round.
At the December meeting of Porthleven Town Council I brought an item to discuss the issue of the current dog ban on Porthleven West Sands and whether under the current consultation period to change the timings and period. To recap, HERE is the previous blog on this subject.
The outcome of the debate is the Town Council will formally request changes to the dog ban. If Cornwall Council accepts the changes, the dog ban will not start till 1st May and ends on the 30th September. The ban will not come into force till 8am and will stop at 7pm each day during the ban period.
I believe these are sensible changes to the current ban period and was happy to propose these changes. I will now be submitting these changing as will the town council to Cornwall Council.
I will keep you informed of the outcome of the request.