CONCERNS have been raised over a proposal to ban dogs from being off leads on one of Gwynedd’s largest and most popular beaches.
Porthmadog Town Council has written to Cyngor Gwynedd calling for dogs to be banned from being on the beach at Black Rock Sands, Morfa Bychan, without a lead.
Porthmadog councillors agreed to back the proposal at its January meeting after it was put forward by Cllr Michael Roberts.
Dog owners have spoken of their shock at the proposal.
Former councillor, Jason Humphreys, called the proposal ‘cruel’, writing on social media: “If you have a tiny Shiatsu, or perhaps plenty of land for your larger mutt, then all’s well. However, for others, where can dogs run? My position with regards to Morfa Bychan Beach is that there should always be at least a part of it where the neediest and most deprived dog can run! Such cruelty.”
In recent months, the county council has vowed to adopt a zero tolerance approach to anti-social driving on the flat, sandy beach, which stretches for miles.
This comes following years of complaints about complaints about drivers speeding and performing handbrake.
Reacting to the request, a Cyngor Gwynedd spokesperson said: “A Public Space Protection Order (Dog Control) is already in effect and applicable to Morfa Bychan beach.
"This means that dogs are excluded from the designated zone between the 1 April and 30 September.
"Also, failing to clean up after a dog has fouled or not putting a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer are also breaches of the order. Failure to comply could result in a fixed penalty for £100 or prosecution.
“The current order is effective for three years, until August 2024.
"The council will be engaging with stakeholder groups regarding this matter over the coming weeks.”
Porthmadog county councillor Nia Jeffreys added: “I look forward to working with officers from Cyngor Gwynedd, members of Porthmadog Town Council and the wider public on this issue as I’m very eager to keep our beaches and other public spaces safe and enjoyable for all.
"Dog ownership has shot up since the Covid pandemic and I would remind people of the responsibility they have to the local environment and their community when they decide to adopt or buy a dog.
"For example, when you’re out exercising your dog, please be mindful of other people and of course remember to take plenty of bags with you to pick up your dog’s mess."