Angry town councillors in Burnham-On-Sea have this week attacked proposals by Sedgemoor District Council to remove the winter ban on dogs using the town’s main beach.
We first reported here last month that the District Council is considering lifting the ban on dogs on Burnham’s main beach between the Jetty and Pavilion.
Burnham Town councillor Louise Parkin said at the latest Town Council meeting this week: “It is vitally important that we keep the ban in place here to ensure Burnham is a family-friendly resort with a children’s beach.”
“It took two years of work of my Town Council committee to get this dog ban introduced along this stretch of beach many years ago, making it family-friendly for children to play without worrying about dogs.”
“Lifting the ban on dogs would be a huge mistake,” added Cllr Parkin, pictured below.
“There are seven miles of beach for walking dogs – why is this small stretch needed as well?”
Cllr Maria Clarke, Burnham’s Mayoress, added: “I fully support Cllr Parkin on this – from a health and safety perspective I feel we should be keeping this as a family beach.”
And Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton told Monday’s meeting: “I would echo all those sentiments.”
The Town Council plans to approach Sedgemoor District Council on the proposals to ensure the ban remains in force over the winter.
Sedgemoor says the existing all-year-round ban is difficult to enforce during the winter when there are no beach wardens on duty.
Dave Coles, Coastal and Environmental Protection Manager at Sedgemoor District Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are considering modifying the winter-time ban on dogs for the main beach to make it more easily enforceable for us, more easier to understand for dog owners, and to reflect levels of winter use.”
He added: “Over the summer, we have a ban on dogs across all of Burnham’s beach from Maddock’s Slade to the Sailing Club, but during the peak summer months we need a ban in the place when the beaches are so busy with families.”
“Over the winter, the main beach currently remains closed to dogs while the other two beaches either side are opened to dogs. Despite this, though, we see people walking their dogs into the banned area and it’s difficult for us to enforce because we don’t have beach wardens on duty over the winter.”
“Therefore, fully removing the dogs ban on all beaches over the winter is being considered. It would be easier to understand and enforce. We would still take action against dog fouling and anti-social dog ownership issues whenever necessary.”
Pictured: Above, Monday’s meeting where the beach dog ban was debated