Owners mess up, so dogs will be banned in Helston gardens
DOGS are to be banned from a popular amenity area in Helston.
The town council's amenities committee is to seek a dog control order for the sunken garden off Coinagehall Street.
This means anyone with a dog in the garden, or on the grassed area opposite it, could be handed an £80 fine.
The move comes after a number of complaints about dogs' mess on the grass.
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Councillor Sue Swift, amenities committee chairman, said the criticism came from office workers using the picnic and other benches for their lunch and wedding parties posing for photographs after marriage ceremonies at the nearby register office.
The final straw appeared to be when the council's own grass-cutting contractor could not do his work in the area because of dogs' mess.
Mrs Swift said the council had put up warnings and other signs asking people to behave responsibly with their pets. She added: "We have tried but it has just made no difference at all. We decided this was the only way we could go.
"It is a popular part of Helston but this is again another case of irresponsible people spoiling it for people who do look after their animals.
"It is something that has to be done."
Town clerk Chris Dawson expected it would take about two months before any order could come into force.
It had to be advertised for 28 days and then the public would be given two weeks "to get used to it".
He said town warden Craig Bowcutt would be able to issue fixed penalty fines to anyone with a dog in the sunken garden, or the grass opposite it, although the order would not cover the public footpath which crosses between the two areas.
The fine would be £80 but could be reduced to £50 if paid early.
Mr Dawson added that the action had been taken in consultation with Cornwall Council.
Among those who have encountered problems at the sunken garden were Cornish wrestlers who held their annual harvest fair tournament last month, and also in occasional training sessions.
Brian Deacon, chairman of the Sithney Cornish Wrestling Club, said: "There is quite a bit of dogs' mess down there. It isn't very pleasant."
Mr Deacon, a self-proclaimed responsible dog-owner, said he felt it would be good if the town council banned dogs from the area.