We are not banning dogs, says Attleborough council

Councillors in Attleborough have denied rumours that they wish to ban dogs from an area of public open space.

Anger has spread among some dog walkers over the prospect they would be prevented from using Gaymers Meadow following a series of complaints about fouling.

But Attleborough Town Council, owner of the meadow, said it was never its intention to ban anyone from the recreational area, but a solution needed to be found which would allow everyone to enjoy the public amenity, which was also home to football pitches and a grass running track.

Following a heated informal meeting between dog walkers and councillors held at the meadow last week, the council has decided to hold a second more structured public meeting at the Town Hall this month to try to resolve the issue once and for all. All users of the meadow are welcome to attend and give their suggestions.

Attleborough Town mayor Karen Pettitt said: 'Over a period of quite some time we have had complaints from footballers, but also other people, about dog mess because some people are not clearing up behind their dogs.

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'Children's parents have also got upset when dogs have run up to them on the field and frightened them because not everyone is a dog lover.

'But we do have a lot of responsible dog walkers who we are very pleased and very happy with. It's always just a few who spoil it for the many.'

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Possible suggestions so far have included asking owners to keep their dogs on leads at all times or specifically identifying an area of the large meadow where dogs can run free.

Mrs Pettitt added: 'Unfortunately this misconception has got out that we want to ban dogs. We do not want to ban dogs at all.

'We are merely looking at options. We are trying to think of a way that everyone can be happy together.'

Sandra Boatman, who walks her dog on the meadow and whose home backs onto the area, welcomed a new meeting following the previous heated gathering which left some of her neighbours distressed.

'There is a lot of feeling about. It's advertised as a dog walking field by estate agents. You can't ban dogs fron the field,' she said. 'I'm sure if people sit down in a more civilised manner a compromise could be reached. It's such a big area that surely there must be room for everybody.'

The meeting will take place at the Town Hall in Queen's Square on October 17 at 7.15pm.

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