Following a tide of opposition the law banning dogs from the beaches will cease at the end of April.
The debacle began in October 2013 when, without consultation, Cr Crugnale introduced an amendment to a motion addressing “off leash” areas in Inverloch. The amendment stated that dogs were to be banned from all Inverloch beaches between 8am to 8 pm for five months of the year.
The majority of councillors thought this a reasonable change from dogs being allowed on the beaches at any time, all year, and the law came into being.
The edict came as a shock to the community and that one swift amendment resulted in the casual enjoyment of each day being ruined for a huge number of people. Thousands and thousands signed petitions, wrote letters, marched and used the internet to record their opposition to the ban.
A few recorded their opposition to the ban in an inappropriate manner. This behaviour was not condoned by the vast majority of opponents to the law.
At the December council meeting when tremendous opposition was plainly evident, Cr Crugnale was given the opportunity to radically alter the law. She chose not to do this and with the casting vote of the Mayor, only the daily hours were changed slightly. Opposition continued and when making public comment the councillors seemed to focus on the abuse they were receiving from some opponents to the law.
The way the new law was established had been overbearing, akin to bullying, so was it not the people who were delivered the ill-conceived law, whose lives were unexpectedly affected by it, the ones who were abused. Especially affected were those who found it difficult to get their objections heard, usually the elderly or individuals who have difficulty writing letters, making phone calls or using the internet, tools the majority of us use readily.
The new law affected their lives and each day was a reminder of their misery.
Maybe the councillors could use their platforms of office to make an apology rather than to defend themselves.
Sarah Spencer-Smith, Inverloch.