Pontesbury Parish Council: July 2017

The last meeting of Pontesbury Parish Council was held on 12 June at Cruckton Village Hall. The Parish Council welcomed Cllr Charlie Sandells who had been co-opted at the last meeting to one of the vacancies in Cruckton ward.
Newsletter volunteers – a big thank you
The Parish Council was advised that volunteers are needed to help bundle up the Pontesbury newsletters ready for our deliverers. The Parish Council expressed its thanks to Neil and Daphne Williams who have done this for the last five years. The newsletter would not be possible without all the wonderful volunteers and the Parish Council wishes to thank all of you for the amazing work that you do which ensures that all members of Pontesbury Parish are provided with up to date local information on a monthly basis. If you are interested in helping with the newsletter distribution please contact the Parish Clerk.
Parish Councillor Vacancies in Cruckton Ward
As reported in the last newsletter there are still two vacancies for Parish Councillors in Cruckton Ward. If you are interested in being a Parish Councillor, representing Cruckton Ward (Cruckton, Cruckmeole, Lea Cross, Ford Heath and all the other hamlets in between), please contact the Parish Clerk who will let you have additional information.
Dogs on Public Rights of Way
The Parish Council discussed recent reports of issues with dogs on farm land. Most public rights of way pass over farm land and conflicts can arise between people with dogs and the land managers. Although legislation does not require that dogs be on a lead whilst on a public right of way you must ensure that you are fully in control of your dog at all times. A dog is regarded as a ‘usual accompaniment’ on a public right of way. Nonetheless this entitlement is confined to the line of the path and only exists whilst the dog is accompanied by its owner/ keeper. Owners must not allow their dog to wander off the legal line of the path otherwise this would be classed as trespass for which the landowner could take civil action. There is no legal duty placed on landowners to provide access to rights of way for dogs.
The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 makes it a specific offence to allow a dog to be at large in a field or enclosure where there are sheep and a farmer may have a defence in any civil proceedings for killing or injuring a dog which is caught worrying sheep. The law does not rule that a dog be kept on a lead whilst accompanied on a public right of way, but rather that it must be kept under close control. ‘At large’ is defined as not on a lead, or otherwise under close control. In short, you must ensure your dog is under close control near livestock and if you have any doubts at all about your ability to control your dog you should keep it on a lead. Landowners/farmers are advised that they should contact Shropshire Council if they have specific issues and further assistance if needed, as additional signage may be available.
The one exception to this rule is if you are in a field with cattle, especially with calves. Cows may feel threatened and become aggressive towards you and your dog. If this happens stay calm and let your dog off the lead. It’s the dog that the cattle are worried about, not you, and the dog will usually be able to get away quicker.
One of the main complaints that landowners make with regard to the public using the paths on their land is that people allow their dogs to foul and do not pick up after them. Failure to pick up dog mess can lead to diseases being transmitted to livestock, other dogs and humans and may constitute an offence. It is advisable for all dog owners to worm their animals regularly and pick up and dispose of dog mess appropriately.
Further information relating to land owner/farmer and rights of way users responsibilities is available on Shropshire Council’s website – https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/outdoor-recreation/countryside-access-and-public-rights-of-way/. The Outdoor recreation team at Shropshire Council can also be contacted by email: outdoor.recreation@shropshire.gov.uk or via the Customer Service Centre 0345 6789000.
Next Parish Council Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting is to be held on Monday 10 July at Habberley Village Hall; starting at 7.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. If you need to contact the Parish Council, please phone or email the Parish Clerk
Kate Davies, Parish Clerk, Pontesbury Parish Council
New address: 14 Coly Anchor, Kinnerley, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8BY
Email: pontesburypc@gmail.com
Tel: 01691 886460 (Please leave a message if I am not available to answer your call)

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