FOI request (FOI219971)
Dog control PSPO Alexandra park / Dog poisonings / FOI
Requested Tue 25 July 2017
Responded Tue 25 July 2017
You have banned dogs from all the streams in Alexandra Park, with no explanation of why. It is part of a PSPO, so the implication is that somebody at the council believes that allowing dogs to go into streams is in some way "anti-social".
Dog fouling is anti-social. Allowing dogs to run free on beaches where there might be people scared of dogs is anti-social. But allowing a Labrador to dip itself into a stream on a hot summer's day is absolutely not anti-social. What is the problem? What do the persons who made this decision actually think is anti-social about letting a dog jump into a stream?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to stop a dog that loves water, and which until now has been allowed to go into the water, going into the water? The only way to prevent it is to keep the dog on a lead at all times, which in many cases prevents the dog from getting enough exercise, as well as denying it the chance to lower its body temperature on a hot day. For people who don't have cars, or who are short of time and depend on being able to exercise their dogs in that park, this is a serious problem. It is certainly a major issue for all the people I speak to walking dogs in that park, none of whom can understand why this rule has been brought in.
On p3 of 'Draft Dog PSPO and plans' it says (but doesn't explain why):
"c) All children's play areas, multi-use games areas, skate parks, tennis
courts, bowls greens within the Borough of Hastings and all water bodies
within Alexandra Park (as shown hatched black coloured blue on Plan 20)
and St Leonards Gardens (as shown hatched black coloured blue on Plan"
There is a related issue. Various people are talking about a spate of dog poisonings in Alexandra Park, and the word on the street is that this is the result of the council putting down rat poison, in or near streams. Now you have brought in some otherwise inexplicable rule about not allowing dogs in the streams on the grounds it is "anti-social". Did somebody decide the headline "Council poisons dogs" wouldn't go down too well? So to stop it happening without admitting culpability, the council decided to prohibit letting dogs in the streams on the dishonest justification that it is anti-social to do so?
I am therefore requesting all information HBC holds on the following:
1) Why you think allowing dogs in streams is anti-social, or why else you've decided to ban it.
2) Known instances of dogs being poisoned, and if so did they involve rat poison put down by the council or contractors working for the council?
Q1 - This is a question and not a request for recorded information therefore falls outside the scope of Freedom of Information
Q2 - Hastings Borough Council holds no information in relation to this request
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