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Canine Conundrum?

by Haddenham Webteam – 13th August 2014
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What's all the fuss?

You may have wondered why, if Haddenham Parish Council has received many complaints about dog excrement and dog nuisance over the years, there is now a move to implement a new Dog Control Order in the village.

Part of the reason that HPC feels it necessary to have greater control measures in place follows a recent incident reported to the council by Professor Sir Roderick Floud, who lives in Flint Street. Roderick had this to say:

"I wrote to the Parish Clerk to ask if notices could be put at the beginning and end of the narrow path from Flint Street to the railway bridge, on the path to Kingsey, asking dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead. When this request was discussed by the Parish Council, I understand that they were advised that the best way to deal with this would be to apply for a Dog Control order, which would also allow them to deal with another problem that had arisen – of dogs running loose in Banks Park – and any other problems which may arise in future."

"My request was the result of a horrible incident in which three dogs emerged from the Kingsey footpath, out of control as their owner was speaking on her mobile phone, jumped into our front garden and seized Brian Burch's cat, worrying it and dragging it up Flint Street; I and a friend who was visiting us pursued them but they then turned on my friend before dropping the cat, which was by now dead. The owner did absolutely nothing other than scream hysterically and beat her fists on a parked car. When she finally got the dogs – two of which were large, Irish lurcher types – under control she told me that they had never done anything like this before and that, of course, they would never harm a child. I did not find this very reassuring."

"I am in no way paranoid about dogs but I was, and still am, concerned about large dogs – much larger than a pre-school child – rushing headlong along a narrow path with a right-angle bend in it which means that their owner would not be able to see them, let alone control what they are doing. The solution seems to me to be to ask all owners to keep dogs on a lead until they reach open country, as most already do."

"A civilised society operates by many rules, some of which restrict our rights – think of limits on loud noises, speed limits, seat belt requirements and controls on using mobile phones – all of which in some sense penalise careful drivers and others. Some are also difficult to enforce. But the purpose of the rules is to encourage everyone to follow them and thus to improve overall standards of behaviour and civility. Of course the use of Dog Control Orders should be sensible and proportionate, but I think that – regrettably – it is necessary for the village to have the power to make them where there is a proven need."

One dog lover's response:
One of the letters written to Haddenham Parish Council by a local resident, as part of the public consultation, is available to view here.

Your response?
The proposed measures were published in mid-July, and our opportunity to comment official closed on Thursday 14th August – see the details here. It is possible, however, that HPC will consider all letters and comments received up to the end of August. (This is unconfirmed at present).

Perhaps predictably, the dog owners of Haddenham have been quite vociferous in their objections to the new measures being proposed. If you have a view, one way or the other, you only have two more days to write formally to Haddenham Parish Council, via Sue Gilbert, the HPC Clerk. You can do so by sending a old style paper letter to:

Mrs Susan Gilbert Clerk to the Council
25 Pickenfield
Oxon OX9 3NG

Curiously, HPC has no letterbox at its office at the village hall and the Clerk is away on vacation at the moment, so you can't call into the Parish Council office to drop your correspondence off in person despite the public consultation process deadline – go figure!

So, given the tight tight frame now available for comments, it's probably better to send an email to: haddenhampc@btconnect.com

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