Challenge threat to beach dog ban plan

Dogs have not yet been banned from the beach at Bispham
Dogs have not yet been banned from the beach at Bispham
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Campaigners are ready to stand up and challenge any ban imposed against dogs on a Blackpool beach.

Blackpool Council is currently considering whether to extend restrictions keeping animals off the sands at Bispham between May and October.

Signs went up last week informing dog walkers the ban was already in force prompting anger from some who felt they had not been consulted.

The council has now admitted the notices were posted in error. But the mistake has strengthened the resolve of those opposed to any ban insisting there is no need for such a draconian approach.

Teacher Laura Gilmour, from Norbreck Road in Little Bispham, is leading the fight.

Dogs are already banned from the beach between North Pier and South Pier during summer months.

Laura believes there is no justification for extending the ban, insisting current legislation should protect water quality.

“It’s illegal to let your dog foul,” she said.

“Why do you need an additional law?

“Dog owners have a duty to ensure their animals are properly socialised and exercised.

“With increasing restrictions on the spaces we can use that isn’t happening.”

Laura has posted to social networks and, along with a group of fellow campaigners, has called for talks with Blackpool Council’s deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell.

Coun Campbell today said she was aware of the strength of feeling.

She said: “It’s fantastic Bispham is deemed as having clean enough water for people to swim and paddle in.

“However, the water there is classed as ‘sufficient’ and therefore is only one wet summer away from failing the standards.

“We know that one of the pollution sources in the water at Bispham comes from dogs, hence why we decided to take a close look at whether a dog beach ban on a small stretch was viable.

“The consultation has closed and we are considering the responses and what we do next – no decision has been made yet.

“I’m well aware of the strength of feeling and that will reflected in our final decision.”