Dogs could be banned from all Sunderland's beaches during the daytime in summer under new proposals
Dogs could be banned from Sunderland’s beaches during the day throughout the summer under new plans.
The city council has opened a consultation on its Public Spaces Protection orders which includes amendments to the rules between the beginning of May and the end of September.
The new consultation is asking people to choose between two alternatives that would cover the whole stretch of both Roker and Seaburn beaches – with pets either banned from all beaches between 9am and 6pm but able to roam freely at other times, or allowed on the beach at all times, but only on a lead, from May 1 to September 30.
Sandra Tibbo, who lives at Seaburn, contacted the Echo to say dog owners were angry that the consultation did not include an option to retain the current situation.
"Most people want it to stay as it is but they are being made to vote for the lesser of two evils,” said Sandra, who has three dogs.
"There is no third option on the consultation to keep the status quo.”
Sandra said the current regulations are confusing as only parts of the beach are included
She said: “People are coming onto the beach at Whitburn and walking down the beach – but they are not passing any signs.”
Dog walkers at Roker were divided on the plans.
Laura Bell and daughter Eva, seven, had travelled from Castletown to give Jack Russell terrier Ted a chance to stretch his legs.
Laura, 34, was unhappy at the prospect with either choice: "Both options are stupid really,” she said.
"The beach is just a great place to come as a dog walker, knowing they are able to be off the lead and have fun in a safe area. Why should you not be allowed to have your dog on the beach?”
But Joanna Echevarria was adamant dogs such as pet Lorca should always be kept on the lead on the beach: “We brought our grandchildren down and a dog came over and weed all over our clothes,” she said.
"The owners just said ‘Dogs will be dogs’. It’s all very well saying we need responsible owners but there are some irresponsible people around,” said Joanna, 71.
Debra Johnson and Ranjo Shiekh had walked Golden Retriever/Poodle cross Nero down from home in Southwick. They had no problem with rules requiring responsible ownership.
"If your dog makes a mess, you should pick up after it but not everybody does, you see it everywhere,” said Debra ,49.
Ranjo, 42, wanted more dog waste bins: “You see people picking it up but then hanging it on walls and fences or throwing it in the bushes,” he said.
Sue’s Cafe owner Sue Parkin said she was worried tighter restrictions may mean fewer people came to the seafront but she accepted the need for regulation.
"Let people come down but we have to make sure they are responsible for their dog, they control it and clean up after it,” she said.
Anyone wishing to have their say on the plans can do so by visiting the council’s website at: www.sunderland.gov.uk/consultation