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A Dog Lover's Comment

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Haddenham Parish Council has recently published draft Dog Control order, and invited public comment. Here is one letter written in response.

Dear Clerk to HPC

Saturday market at Banks Park stalls offering local produce to villagers. An idyllic village scene, including 20 or 30 dogs during the morning, all on leads greeting each other, other dog owners, children and their parents around the children's slide. An idyllic scene the Parish Council is seeking to prevent.

Can the PC show that a DCO is a necessary and proportionate response to problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them, as required in the DEFRA guidelines? Manifestly not, given the negligible number of recorded complaints received.

It is the many law-abiding and responsible dog owners who will feel needlessly targeted and stigmatised by the proposed order, while the few anti-social badly behaved owners will carry on regardless and probably not be caught. Furthermore, the order could not be economically enforced without depending on reduced levels of evidence from members of the public; a snoopers and vigilantes charter which would cause needless friction between villagers.

The PC has been less than frank in their notice of a consultation period, having debated and resolved to make this application in ignorance of the £1000 fee payable, they have yet to inform the village of this and other costs involved, such as signage and enforcement, so that council tax payers can assess the potential value for money.

DEFRA also requires the authority to balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interests of those affected by the activities of dogs. Such balance is not apparent in the deliberations of the PC, indeed the fear is of a DCO being extended once granted and further restricting access to dogs with their owners.

I urge that this petty and malevolent proposal be scrapped before it causes conflict between villagers and disrepute for the PC, which has more important things to deal with, including their contribution to the Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan.

Douglas Harrison
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An additional commentary:

Oh, how I agree with the letter today about the Dog Control Order.

As he says this will greatly affect the responsible dog owners while the unresponsible ones will carry on regardless of any order.

Will the Parish Council set up a roster among themselves for a 24hr. dog watch? I very much doubt it after all they are only
volunteers!

The police or the PCSO will certainly not do this as they have much better things to do with their time.

This is a complete and utter waste of time and Council money when there are far more important things to spend money on in this village-i.e. the railings round the Village Hall are a disgrace to the village, they need cleaning,repairing and painting.

I understand a request was made by a villager to the P.C. for a notice asking people to keep dogs on leads on the footpath only from Flint Street down to the open fields, but I see this has not been included in the Control Notice which surely should have been.

I would also like to point out that the signs saying No Dogs except Guide Dogs is incorrect , it should be except Assistance Dogs

Freda Dorrell

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