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Dedicated Dog Park Facility

Closing date: 11 January 2011

Lead Petitioner: Tanya Peddle

Status: paper petition - decision

Petition: We, the undersigned...would like a dedicated secure area to exercise dogs off lead.

Background information: How would you like to take your dog somewhere that you could let him/her off the lead in total safety without the fear of him/her running into traffic or getting onto farmland where there could be livestock? In America, there are many such places, "Dog Parks". These special places have separate areas where different sized dogs can be exercised off lead and socialised in a relaxed environment where the owners have the peace of mind that their dogs are totally secure. Many dog parks have a separate trail around the perimeter for walking, jogging with your dog or simply exploring away from the boisterous play of the main area. As a person with four dogs of my own, it has become increasingly apparent to me that here in North Devon we do not have many places where we can exercise our dogs off lead in total safety due to the lack of secure fencing in public parks. Take Barnstaple's Rock Park for instance-the park is right next to the Park and Ride bus route, cars are continually driving up and down the road, then there is no secure fencing adjacent ot the river Taw. I had a collie with excellent recall and she took off one day and was swimming across the river luckily she came back but the result could have been tragic. I am trying to gauge interest in such a facility and if enough people are interested I will hand a petition in to the Council and maybe seek Lottery Funding as a community project. Even if you aren't a dog owner, you may want to sign as I know many parents that worry when they visit beaches and parks with their children when dogs are running around off lead.

Number of signatories: 57 (paper petition)

Current progress: Council at its meeting on 22nd February 2011 referred the petition to the Executive for consideration. The Executive at its meeting on 5th April 2011 agreed that a working party be set up to undertake a feasibility study for the provision of a dedicated secure area to exercise dogs off lead and that the work be undertaken by the new administration following the Elections. Executive at its meeting on 31st May 2011 agreed not to appoint a working party to undertake a feasibility study and referred the issue to the Executive Lead Member for consideration. An appeal against the decision of the Executive on 31st May 2011 was submitted. The appeal has been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 21st July 2011.