VOTE: Are you in favour of the dogs-on-lead ruling on the sports field at Aldingbourne?

The appearance of a new ‘dog on lead’ sign on an Aldingbourne sports field has been explained.

Objections to the sign, which has been put up on the sports field at the Aldingbourne Community Sports Centre (ACSC), were received by Aldingbourne Parish Council.

At its meeting earlier this month, parish council chairman Marianne West allowed the secretary of the ACSC, Mike Burton, to address the issue.

He explained the maintenance of the sports centre was the responsibility of the ACSC, not the parish council, and it was the charity’s trustees who had made the decision to introduce the ruling that dogs should be kept on a lead.

He added that the decision had been taken instead of an outright ban on dogs on the field, as a way of controlling the amount of dog fouling which had reached an unacceptable level over the past few months.

He said: “The ban on allowing dogs to run free was being implemented as there had recently been several incidents whereby dogs had run through groups of children causing them to be very frightened.

“At the time the dogs were not under control and, indeed, the owners were nowhere to be seen. In addition there had been two dog fights on the fields in the past month.”

Mr Burton said he believed it was only a small percentage of dog owners who did not clear up after their animals.

Objections were raised that keeping dogs on leads would do nothing to curb the fouling as those owners who failed to clear up after their pets would continue.

It was asked if a poster campaign, similar to one conducted in previous years, could not be started. The campaign would be supported by two more ‘dogs on leads’ signs which would cover all the entrances to the field.

It was hoped all signs would be in place over the next few weeks and the ban on dogs running free would be enforced, via Arun District Council’s dog warden, from November 1.