Let us walk our dogs in the park

DOG walkers who may soon be unable to let their pets run free want to see the proposed rule relaxed in a popular park.

More than 25 concerned dog owners met Cllr Michael Brown on Monday after Kettering Council said it is looking at bringing in a control order which would mean pets have to be kept on leads at all times in some parks and open spaces.

The group has requested that part of the popular Rockingham Road Pleasure Park becomes a ‘dog friendly zone’ so their pets can run free in that area.

Andy Phillips, 48, of Park Road, Kettering, who regularly walks his dog at the park, said: “I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction from the council that doesn’t look at the whole picture. I’d be very disappointed if the proposal comes in - dogs can’t get their exercise if they are on a lead.

“If the dogs are well behaved then they should be allowed to be walked without their lead on.

“The dogs at the Pleasure Park are usually very well behaved.

“The proposal will affect those of us who are responsible so that’s why we’re hoping for the dog-friendly zone.

“It would mean the park is then used for what it was meant to be used for.”

After meeting with the owners, Cllr Brown, who represents the All Saints ward, will now take the issue to council officials.

The Pleasure Park is currently split into two halves – one where dogs can be walked and the other half designed for children.

The idea to make dogs on leads compulsory in certain areas has already been rolled out by East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough councils.

The council has made the proposal after it received a number of complaints from open space and park users about the animals.

Cllr Brown said: “I had a good chat with the dog owners on Monday and will take forward the proposal for the zone.

“It’s important to give dogs a space to socialise and to keep them fit.

“I walk through the park all of the time and the dogs in the area are all very friendly.”