Dog walking committee showdown moved to 'cope with demand'

Walk anymore than four at a time and you could find yourself fined 100.
Walk anymore than four at a time and you could find yourself fined 100.

The location of next Monday's scrutiny committee discussing the limit on group dog walks in South Ribble has changed.

The committee will now meet at 6pm at the Wellington Park Hotel, Leyland, to cope with what could see a high public turnout.

READ MORE: South Ribble Council’s controversial ruling puts the bite on dog walkers

Scrutiny committee chair, Coun Matthew Tomlinson, said: “The main council chamber was already booked so a side room would only hold 35 or so people.

“The council should be seen to be making the decisions in the right way; it’s a meeting open to the public.

“The worst possible outcome would be to turn people away.”

Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Streetscene, Coun Graham Walton, is set to appear before the committee to explain the decision, which was taken last week.

Coun Walton said: “We’re not trying to stop the pleasure of people walking their dogs. It was decided for the health and safety of the borough that a limit was best.”

Leader of South Ribble Council, coun Peter Mullineaux, said: “We understand, from reports in the media, that there is to be a demonstration outside the Civic Centre on Thursday. This is about our decision to implement a dog order which would, among other things, limit the number of dogs that can be walked at any one time to four.

“This cabinet decision has been ‘called-in’ by the council’s scrutiny committee for further debate and discussion, as part of a transparent democratic process. The matter will not be formally approved until this process is completed."

Coun Mullineaux added: “The council welcomes all views on this matter, and anybody who wants to have their say is invited to the scrutiny meeting on Monday November 6 from 6pm at the Balmoral Suite, Wellington Park, Burlington Gardens, Church Street, Leyland, PR25 3AB.

“Following the meeting, the scrutiny committee may make recommendations to Cabinet, which they would then consider.”