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To: Chippenham Town Council

Allow Dogs Off Lead in John Coles Park

Allow Dogs Off Lead in John Coles Park

Reverse the decision taken to make the entire John Coles Park a Dog on Lead environment at all times of the day.

Why is this important?

John Coles Park is a lovely, central & safe environment for all users which include a large community of dog walkers who exercise their dogs on and off lead in the appropriate designated areas. This split has worked well for many years and it is disappointing that Chippenham Town Council have decided to make this decision without a full public consultation and by their own admission in their report for the Amenities, Culture & Leisure Committee meeting dated 9 September stated that the split of users who would prefer dogs on or off leads is 50/50.
Although this is not an outright dog ban it does by its enforcement mean that many dog walkers will not be able to use the park to ensure their dog gets their full exercise. It will also cause issues for for those who are less able or without cars to get to places where they can let their dogs run.
The majority of the regular dog walkers using the park do so twice a day most days of the years, either earlier or later in the day. Therefore, they don’t interact with the main bulk of public who use the park for socialising etc and feel unfairly treated in this matter. Also, as we are approaching winter would be the main and, in some cases, the only users of the park.
Instead of this complete change in usage the signage in the park between the two areas could be much improved to educate, not only the dog walkers but also the non-dog owners as to which area is safely designated for them and the status quo can remain.
Or as a compromise certain times of the day, ie a couple of hours early and a couple of hours late on could be designated as dog
off lead time and the rest of the time in between dog on leads.
There are lots of options that could be considered that would work for all parties without alienating one very large group of regular and loyal users.
Suggestions for using other areas – Donkey Field – needs better maintenance and is a less suitable environment esp mornings for dogs of lead with the children going to school. Birds Marsh, so much more difficult to get to now that the new massive estate has been built across most of the access. Monkton Park – a little further away and more difficult to access for some.
The main points are that:
This decision seems to have been reached very quietly and without discussion with actual regular users of the park.
Walking dogs on lead only is not suitable for a large proportion of the dogs currently walked in the park.
Dogs on lead can actually become more stressed and more likely to act aggressively.
There are no other similar local environments that are as safe to let dogs off lead.
Please sign this petition if you would like this decision reversed or at least reconsidered fully and with the input of all park users.
Please also petition your local councillor and Chippenham Town Council if you feel strongly about this and have other points to add.
Many thanks

Chippenham, UK

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Reasons for signing

  • Dogs need proper exercise. Rather than take that away maybe have a more distinct/fenced area for dogs to be off lead, or make the existing enclosed dog run bigger.
  • I've walked dogs in John Coles Park for more than 40 years without any problems. The Town Council's problem is the signs advising that dogs are only allowed off lead in the top half are far too small and from Park Lane there's no sign advising it's a "dog on lead area" until you reach the raised flower bed at the edge of the top half of the park. Dogs need their daily exercise the same as humans do!!
  • We want a public vote on it, otherwise town councillors will feel it at the ballot box when they want re electing in 2021

Updates

2020-10-01 13:05:29 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-09-30 07:33:24 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-09-29 23:23:44 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-09-29 22:05:33 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-09-29 21:50:16 +0100

10 signatures reached