It's a dog's life for the council

IT’S now a week since the Vale Commons Council announced that it was intending to ‘deal with’ dog walkers who allowed their dogs to run off the lead on the common.

‘Deal with’? Well first of all it laid out its intent to stop dogs being off the lead, and then, in the same breath, said the move was voluntary. Then it emerged that dog walkers were apparently being pursued, said to be in error, by the council’s ‘rangers’ on the common, even though the voluntary ban was not to start until next Monday.

One wonders if the council would wish to wind back a week and recall their press release announcement. It’s been a difficult and controversial week for a group of volunteers.

It wouldn’t be so surprising if most islanders agree that they might have a point, but don’t agree with the way they have acted.

Such controversies often happen when the authorities decide to act on issue which should be a matter of personal responsibility. The Commons Council wanted to reduce incidents of poor behaviour or dogs out of control on the common, and instil more discipline in owners picking up dog mess.

It has probably over-reached in its response. But such actions should be the responsibility of every dog owner. If that is becoming such a problem, it once again appears that a minority have caused problems for everyone else.

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