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Dog Parks on the Playing Fields
A request has been made by a resident of Birstall for the Parish Council to create dog park areas on the playing fields in Birstall. This would involve setting an area set aside to allow dogs to be exercised off the lead. This has caused a mixed reaction amongst Councillors, because they have a duty to consider all likely users of the playing fields and not just dog walkers, and so they resolved to put this information out for the public to comment on before making any decisions.
Currently, there are byelaws in place that the Parish Council can enforce to ensure that all dogs entering the playing fields are kept on leads at all times and this applies to all of the playing fields that the Parish Council own, and they are: Harrowgate Drive Playing Fields, School Lane Playing Fields and Meadow Lane Playing Fields.
If this scheme was to go ahead, the area would have to be made secure by fencing the area off to keep the dogs in, which would reduce the room left for sports and recreation, and there would have to be a change to the existing Byelaws, both of which would incur costs and legal fees to make the appropriate changes with the Home Secretary, and this would ultimately be at the expense of the Council Tax payers of Birstall.
One Councillor mentioned that these schemes appear to work well in large cities where green space is rare, however, it's quite a different story in Birstall where there are numerous places that people can take their dogs and exercise them off the lead.
The above mentioned playing fields are owned by the Parish Council and they are used and enjoyed by families, young people, the youth café, footballers, cricketers, rounder's players and many more. To have an area set aside for this type of activity, it could be said, would not only spoil the look of the playing fields, but it could become a nuisance to neighbours, if it was set close to residential properties, and could also affect the usage of the playing fields by other users.
The Clerk expressed her concerns during the meeting, one of which was who would maintain the area? It is not something that she would be recommending the Estates Staff should do for Health & Safety reasons, it's bad enough now! She has witnessed their clothing after they have mowed School Lane Playing Fields, and this is with the byelaws in existence, and still people don't clean up after their dogs, the staff have reported to her that dog faeces sprays all over their clothes, it's on their skin, in their eyes and it has been mentioned that they can taste it.
The existing byelaws at the moment do not prohibit dogs from the playing fields, it just asks for them to be kept on a lead, It should be mentioned that within the last few weeks an unprovoked and savage attack on a teenage girl by a dog off the lead on one of the playing fields occurred, the Police were involved and the dog has since been destroyed.
We now wish to ask your opinion before any further consideration is given to this scheme at the next Estates & Recreation Committee meeting which is on Monday 18 August 2014, 7pm in the Village Hall, to which you are all invited to attend to voice your opinions either way.
We would also like to gather as much information as we can before the meeting and we are asking for your views and opinions.
Dog Parks on the Playing Fields
BIRSTALL GALA 2015
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VACANCIES FOR COUNCILLORS
There are two vacancies on Birstall Parish Council. One is for the Stonehill Ward and the other is for the Goscote Ward although in practice Councillors serve the entire community. For more details please contact the Parish Council office on 267 6191.
Council Offices, Birstall Road, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 4DH
Tel: 0116 267 6191 Fax: 0116 267 7870
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