Dog beach ban protestors ask council to compromise

DOG owners want to negotiate with council officers over a possible compromise on a winter ban on canines on Weston beach

DOG owners want to negotiate with council officers over a possible compromise on a winter ban on canines on Weston beach.More than 250 protestors paraded up and down the seafront last weekend as part of a campaign against a new ban on dogs walking on the sands in winter between the Grand Pier and the Royal Sands.After handing a petition to North Somerset Council, the protestors, led by collie owner Colin Granner, discussed with council officers a compromise on the ban.Mr Granner, who pulled on a Scooby Doo costume for the demonstration, said he hoped for a short-term compromise where dogs would be allowed to walk nearer the sea, away from holidaymakers.He suggested dog walkers should try to keep their pets approximately 50 yards away from the promenade and reiterated that leaving dog mess in a public area is 'totally irresponsible'.Mr Granner, who has lived in the town for four years, has planned another protest, which he hopes will be much bigger, outside the Tropicana at 12noon on April 22.Mr Granner, of Langport Road, aged 46, said: "I gave the petition to Darren Fairchild, who is the environmental protection officer at North Somerset Council."We discussed the possible changes to the current legislation. He seemed very open-minded about some sort of compromise, but obviously defended his reasons for recommending the ban. What we need now is for everyone to express their objections to the ban by writing to Darren Fairchild."The next protest will be a lot bigger because word seems to have spread through a lot of the dog groups in the area. One in particular, a West Highland terrier group, which visits every year in October to walk along the beach is particularly annoyed."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We are quite happy to talk with the protestors but at the moment we are in no position to make an amendment to the ban.

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