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Legal threat over beach dog ban

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

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ST IVES Dog Owners' Group has vowed to fight on if councillors ignore its pleas to throw out the controversial 24-hour summer beach ban.

The group now says it will consider going to court – and if necessary an expensive judicial review – if St Ives town councillors vote for the ban, as its environment committee already has.

The full council was due to vote on the bitterly contested plan at a meeting held last night, after The Cornishman went to print.

DOG's Barbara Nolan said: "If the consultation had gone against us and had the majority of people in St Ives wanted the plan, we would have let it go and not argued with a ban, but as the consultation is so heavily against dog-owners not being able to use the beaches, we'll fight.

"Defra rules say you need evidence for a ban and from the beginning we've said they have no evidence. I believe the way to go is a judicial review and I believe it's very expensive, but we have the will. It's about the justice of it."

For updates on last night's meeting and the council's decision on the ban check out our website at www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

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  • PennyB  |  November 08 2012, 9:11PM

    I'm suggesting to the dog owners in St Ives that you also launch your own counter-attack. Get down on the beaches and take photos of all the litter that is left there. Send the photos to the council and to Defra and INSIST that something is done about it. Also send them to Keep Britain Tidy, protesting that St Ives doesn't DESERVE its Blue Flag status, given that its beaches are so filthy. Since half of this victimisation seems to be based around their desire to fly their Blue Flags 24/7, the more you can do to prove them unworthy of having the status at all, the better. See how soon they launch a campaign to stop the litter bugs on the beach.... bet it never happens, eh?! I also think it might be worth considering bringing a case against the council for discrimination under the Human Rights Act. If there are any lawyers out there who would like to volunteer to help DOGS with a spot of legal advice, I'm sure they would be very pleased to hear from you. My reading of the HRA is that if a local authority makes decisions that will affect you, and others like you, adversely, then you may have a case. There are also issues around equality, of course. This would be a test case in the courts, but if successful, would pave the way for further cases to be brought by dog owners who have been victimised in other areas of the country. And it might discourage other councils from making such a mockery of the Defra guidelines. If the Judicial Review goes ahead, it has definitely got my support. I will happily contribute towards the legal costs of getting justice for the UK dog owners, and St Ives residents, whose rights have been so appallingly abused in this case.

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