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U-turn on dogs review as councillors decide not to make changes
LYME Regis town councillors have made a U-turn on the decision to review the dogs on the beach policy in the town.
It was recommended to the full council that the policy should be reviewed by the town management committee after a number of complaints were made to staff and councillors about members of the public not abiding by the laws.
But, the decision to review the policy was rejected by a vote of five to three.
Cllr Michaela Ellis told the full council she was against the idea to review the policy, saying she felt the current laws in place were good enough.
She said: “I wouldn’t support revisiting this issue and I think we have already got a perfectly good by-law at the moment and we should stick to it as it is.”
Councillors Michaela Ellis, Ann Bradbury, Lorna Jenkin, Anita Williams and Sally Holman all voted against the review of the policy, with councillors Mark Gage, Rikey Austin and Chris Clipson the only three to vote for the review.
The issue first arose at the town management committee meeting last month after complaints about dog walkers letting their dogs off their leads on Front Beach featured heavily on the council’s complaints list.
When discussing the dogs on beaches policy at the town management committee meeting, Mark Gage said he felt the council had “demonised” dogs.
Cllr Gage said: “When the laws were first introduced, there was a lack of wisdom in putting rules in place that we cannot enforce.
“I think we have gone too far and demonised dogs and I would be happy to review it. It is something we don’t have or will have the resources to fully police.”
A number of councillors also agreed that the signs were confusing.
The rules at the moment state that dogs are banned from going on to Front Beach for the entirety of the summer season between April 1 and October 31.
Between November 1 and March 31, dogs are allowed on the beach but must remain on a lead at all times.
If people fail to abide by the rules, they face a fine of £75.