We’ve already had over 200 responses to our plans to combat nuisance from loose dogs in Lydiard Park in the two weeks since we first asked for your views.
Up to now, the majority have been supportive, but we’re open to all shades of opinion and if you want to give us your thoughts and haven’t yet, you have until 4 July, when the consultation ends.
The reason for the idea is simple – too many people have their enjoyment of the park spoiled by loose and boisterous dogs in areas popular with families.
It’s not the fault of the dogs, of course, but if they aren’t controlled properly they can end up knocking over small children, getting into fights with other dogs, and stealing from people’s picnics. It can lead to confrontations and general unpleasantness which is all entirely avoidable.
To recap, we’re not proposing to ban all dogs everywhere at Lydiard, as some who have responded to us have mistakenly thought. Far from it – we’re suggesting that they should be on leads only in the area outside the House, the barbecue area, and the sports and events field in the warmer months between 1 April and the end of September.
The restriction wouldn’t be all day, but from 10am in the morning until 6pm in the evening. In other words, three quarters of the park would be unaffected by the proposed new rules in the summer, and none of it during the winter.
We are aiming to enforce the rules by Fixed Penalty Notices issued by licensed council staff, police and police community support officers. Fines would be £100, reduced to £75 for early payment, all made possible via a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which would cover the relevant areas of the park.
It’s a shame we feel we have to go down this route, but as we see so often, it only takes a small minority of people to spoil things for everyone else.
Information on the consultation can be found at www.swindon.gov.uk/lydiardpspo