A spokesperson for Southend Children Safeguarding Partnership has confirmed that new bylaws will come into effect on January 1st 2017 that BAN DOGS from a number of public areas in the town that are popular with families and young children.
The extension of existing rules relating to dogs on beaches will mean that dog owners who are caught in new restricted areas could face £100 fines or even having their beloved pets confiscated and disposed of.
Fingal Cavington of SCSP spoke to our Chief Reporter to explain why drastic measures had been taken. He said: ‘We have been forced to act after a 4-year-old girl was growled at in the High Street yesterday.’
‘This rule change has been in the pipeline for a while now after a survey showed that 67% of all children in Southend are scared of dogs. More concerningly, almost 100% of all children admitted that they wouldn’t want to be bitten by a dog – we simply couldn’t afford to ignore these statistics.’
‘From January 1st 2017, all Southend Borough parks will become dog-free between the hours of 7am and 9pm, and we will also be adding a number of streets to the initiative when our survey results are finalised. It is likely that any road with a high-concentration of young families will have similar restrictions on pavements.’
‘At this early stage, we already know that Southend High Street will have a 24/7 ban on dogs and similar animals – it’s the only way that we can protect the livelihoods of businesses in our Improvment District.’
We asked Mr Cavington what dog owners were supposed to do about taking their dogs out for exercise.
He said: ‘Our neighbouring boroughs of Rochford and Castle Point have lots of dog-friendly open spaces and as an added bonus they aren’t twats about it. Fewer needles lying around too. Lovely.’
Bichon Frise Maisie De La Pneu from Fairfax Drive in Westcliff was unavailable for comment.