New dog control traffic light system installed on Gaymers Meadow in Attleborough
A new traffic light system has begun on a green space in Attleborough to try and overcome complaints about out of control dogs and fouling.
New signs have been placed at the entrances of Gaymers Meadow to resolve long-running issues surrounding irresponsible dog walkers using the public open space.
The community signs, placed by Attleborough Town Council, advise walkers on areas of the green where dogs can be let loose (green light) and areas where the council would prefer them not to venture (red) or kept on a lead (amber).
However, town mayor Karen Pettitt said the new signage was not an official enforcement notice and was not banning dog walkers from using the meadow.
The system was adopted following two public meetings after users expressed their concern about a potential dog ban. It comes after footballers, who use the site, complained about fouling and dogs being left to bound up to young children.
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Mrs Pettitt added that under the new system, half of Gaymers Meadow was a green zone where walkers could let their dogs run free.
'Because we have had various concerns from people, we are trying this system to help the community and have a harmonious and enjoyable environment for all. We are trying this as a compromise and we do not want to ban dogs.'
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'We accept that the bulk of dog walkers are very responsible. People go there for a picnic and some people are scared of dogs. We are trying to appease everyone,' she said. Gaymers Meadow is used by Attleborough youth football teams as well as the running club and boxing club for training.
The contact details of Breckland Council's dog warden are also included on the new signs to encourage people to report incidents of fouling. Attleborough Town Council will also keep a logbook of future complaints.
However, David Ashton-Reader, who lives in Attleborough, said the town council should have advertised the proposals.
'It seems to me that the council are trying to enforce a dog control order without going through the required procedures, and as such this is an illegal attempt to restrict access and cannot be enforced in law.'
'The matter of dogs on Gaymers Meadow was the subject of a public meeting at the council offices on November 7, when the public and others were given a period of 10 minutes to discuss the issue. It was generally agreed that there are remarkably few problems of dog fouling on Gaymers Meadow, especially considering how popular it is with dog walkers,' he said.