Dogs policy changed

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 07:40 27/07/2012
Laurence Gale
DEREK FLYNN

Happy pet: Roseland pets and plant store manager Laurence Gale and puppy, outside his store in Blenheim’s High St, is pleased Marlborough District Council’s dog policy will change the Blenheim CBD boundary to enable dogs to come to his store.

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Dog owners have had a partial win in their bid to go more places with their pets. They can take them into Picton's CBD on leads, use of the Taylor River will be increased and a dog exercise area near the Taylor River dam is still on the cards.

It is a concession from Marlborough district councillors, making their draft dog policy rules more pet friendly after a public outcry when the new rules were first released.

Dogs are still banned in the Blenheim CBD, although the line has been moved so pets can go to the Roselands pet and plant store, between Charles St and High St.

The Wither Hills Farm Park is also to remain dog free. The council environment committee meeting yesterday approved the changes, which need to be ratified by the full council next month.

However, some councillors were concerned about the cost of the changes and it is unclear when the new rules will come into force.

More than 300 submissions were received, from more than 1000 people.

The dog bylaws in central Blenheim have historically been marred by confusion when "no dogs allowed" signs were posted in the CBD by mistake, ignoring a bylaw change in 2009 that allowed them in central streets.

Yesterday, environment committee chairman Peter Jerram said the draft policy had gone through a lengthy consideration process.

Cr Jamie Arbuckle, who has responsibility for animal control matters, said the community wanted a more friendly, open attitude towards dogs.

The committee considering the policy had visited sites in Marlborough where dogs might be taken, and they were all different, with different requirements.

That has led to a 35-page policy document, setting out where dogs are banned, where they can go and on what conditions.

More signs would be needed and existing signs updated to fit with the rules.

Cr Terry Sloan said he was concerned about the cost of the policy.

Cr Jerram said the committee did not have costings for the policy yet.

Roselands manager Laurence Gale said he was delighted the council had taken his submission into account, and had moved the CBD boundary to avoid his shop.

 

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- The Marlborough Express

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