News Posted in Letters.

Letter | Philip Lewis

Sir,

 

So, we have one irresponsible woman that allows her vicious dog to attack a three-year-old child, and Cllr Hitchins’ answer is to call for more notices to ban dogs going into Marine Park Gardens (Bognor Regis Post, September 21). Just what is the logic behind this ridiculous and costly suggestion?

 

Regardless of the size or prominence of signs, it will make no difference in preventing out of control dogs attacking children or anyone else, so why does Cllr Hitchins think that a blanket ban on all dog owners walking their well-controlled pets on a lead through the gardens will solve the problem?

 

Marine Park Gardens are a superb example of what Bognor Regis can achieve and it is unacceptable that some members of the community should be excluded from them, especially when these same people are contributing via their council tax for the upkeep and maintenance of them.

 

Equally, what sort of message does it send to visitors to the town when they find that they are banned from one of the nicest parts simply because they have decided to bring their family pet on holiday with them?

 

It is perhaps also worth noting that when I have walked through the gardens, seldom have I failed to see discarded beer cans, bottles or fast food packaging. Perhaps Cllr Hitchins should extend his campaign for more signs to also include a warning to people not to throw away their litter and empty beer cans.

 

Other councils, for example Bournemouth and Reading, have similar gardens (only larger) and do not have any problems with people walking their dogs in them. In fact, both councils actually encourage it, so why is it that Bognor Regis and, specifically, Arun District Council, always manage to find a problem? The bylaw used by Arun to ban dogs was introduced around 2009, but the exclusion of dogs from these gardens probably dates back to the 1930s in the good old days of park keepers, manicured lawns and keep off the grass signs.

 

Times have now changed and this ridiculous ban is now hopelessly out of date and does not reflect modern 21st century standards or thinking. It is time that these councillors applied their time into motivating Arun District Council into dragging itself into the 21st century and replacing the dog ban signs with permanent dogs on lead signs and for a change taking a positive ‘can do’ attitude, but as the famously over-used saying goes – “Don’t hold your breath”.

 

Philip Lewis, Aldwick

Posted in Letters.