Majority appear to favour laws that can and will be enforced

SIR - In 2003 because of my campaign record for environmental issues, I received a written request from three newly elected Torridge district councillors to attempt to persuade a reluctant Torridge District Council administration to apply for the Blue Fla

SIR - In 2003 because of my campaign record for environmental issues, I received a written request from three newly elected Torridge district councillors to attempt to persuade a reluctant Torridge District Council administration to apply for the Blue Flag status for Westward Ho! beach.Having obtained the necessary signatures, in turn I presented the then TDC chief executive with a requisition for a full council meeting to debate the issue. Although this was six years ago, I believe the following is relevant to the current debate regarding dog laws in Torridge District.Some of the councillors who opposed the Blue Flag application tried desperately to persuade their colleagues that dog owners would successfully oppose the necessary changes in the law required for Blue Flag status.In order to assess the validity of that argument I enlisted the help of Cllrs Eastman, Ford and Davies and together we carried out a three-day survey of dog owners on Westward Ho! beach.We interviewed 81 people with dogs, some local, some visitors. The final result was as much a surprise to us as to the opposition because 80 of the 81 approached were fully supportive of the required changes in the law, with only one registering opposition.Regarding Ms Tattersall's petition, fortunately any experienced councillor will liken petitions to the disproportionate noise of a minority attempting to persuade the silent majority that they represent the public's view.Bearing in mind that most dog owners have children and grandchildren, my experience has been that as much as 99 per cent of dog owners want laws that can and will be enforced on the unsociable minority who want their dogs to roam free. To achieve this, comporomise will be required. Les Garland, Northam.


You may also want to watch:


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter