Should dogs be banned from playing fields? Council considers…

Dogs could be banned from playing fields, must be kept on a lead and picked up after they foul as part of new measures to deal with dog mess problems in Teignbridge.

People in Teignbridge are invited to have their say on proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order across the district to help deal with dog mess problems.

A consultation launched last week is asking people to put forward their views on a proposed PSPO which, if approved, will help make the enforcement process simpler and give council staff the power to issue on-the-spot fines to irresponsible dog owners.

It follows a call made last year by Cllr Chris Clarance that he would be in favour of legislation banning dogs from all playing fields when the council was discussing a review of the Teignbridge dog fouling policy.

Teignbridge’s Council Strategy ‘Clean Scene’ project, promised to review the approach to how dog fouling is dealt with and the authority is doing just that, a council spokesman said.

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The PSPO updates the existing byelaws for beaches, some parks and public open spaces into offences which can be enforced using fixed penalty notices.

Inconsiderate dog owners would still be targeted through awareness and enforcement.

The order also looks at including:
• The requirement for dog walkers to carry a bag or other means of cleaning up after their dog has fouled at all times.
• The prohibition of dogs from entering defined dog ban areas (e.g. children’s play park excluding assistance dogs).
• The requirement for dogs to be kept on leads next to roads.
• For authorised officers to have the power to immediately request dogs are placed on a lead.
• To restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by a single individual, on and off the lead.

Cllr Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing which includes the portfolio for Environmental Health, said

: “We play an important role in promoting and encouraging responsible dog ownership in Teignbridge. Fortunately, many people pick up after their pet and help us to keep areas free from dog mess but sadly there are still some who don’t.

“Dog mess is unsightly, unhygienic and can have unpleasant health effects particularly for small children. It costs public money to clear up so in effect, our many law-abiding citizens end up paying for something that the few tend to ignore.

“This is an important opportunity to improve controls based on what people have been telling us. We want to know if you agree with what we are proposing, so please get involved.”

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A Teignbridge Council spokesman added: “While there are laws covering dog fouling and irresponsible dog ownership, it is patchy and in some places Teignbridge has no control over enforcement. This inconsistency makes enforcement much harder in those particular places where people tell us it is a problem.

“Currently in Teignbridge, byelaws which apply to some council-owned parks, green spaces and beaches cannot be enforced using fixed penalty notices – offences must be prosecuted through the courts, a procedure which is rarely used and can be costly.

“This is frustrating for Teignbridge, the many responsible dog owners, residents and visitors, and adds up in terms of council time and taxpayers’ money to deal with it.

“Observations by the Teignbridge teams, ranging from Community Wardens, Resorts staff and Countryside Rangers, who meet and speak with the public every day, also highlight concerns about the effectiveness of some existing controls.”

At a council meeting last year, Cllr Clarance said: “In Shaldon we have a particular problem in which we could do better. There is a lot of dog mess on the sports fields where sportsmen have to check the field and make sure it is clear before they play any games.”

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After the meeting, he said: “I feel this is the road that we should go down. We can’t continue to have dog mess ruining rugby and soccer fields. In the village we have been fairly successful and proactive as a parish council in tackling the issue of dog fouling, but this doesn’t seem to be happening on the playing fields.”

There are already bylaws that exist that ban dogs from playing fields in Teignbridge but Cllr Clarance was calling for an area wide ban.

Teignbridge Council wants to hear your views on the changes proposed. You can do this by completing the online survey at

The survey ends on Friday, September 29.

The results of the consultation will be taken into consideration when structuring the PSPO and it will then go before councillors for consideration and approval.

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When slow caravans, tractors and cyclists should pull over to let…

The summer holidays are coming, and as usual, that means holiday-makers will be heading to the beauty spots of Devon and Cornwall for a getaway.

But often they will arrive in slow-moving vehicles that can be the bane of anyone’s trip and can be especially frustrating when you are trying to get to a holiday spot, or just if you come up behind a vehicle moving slower that you want.

But what are the rules and regulations about when when caravans, tractors and cyclists should pull over for traffic to pass and what should you do if you find yourself behind one of these vehicles.

Here’s what you need to know in this handy guide put together with our friends at WalesOnline.

How fast are tractors allowed to travel?

Speed limits for tractors have been increased from 20mph to 25mph, while the weight that they are allowed to carry has risen from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes.

This limits the amount of time that tractors have to be on the road, allowing them to make fewer journeys and reduce the risk of accidents.

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What about lorries, buses and caravans?

The speed limit for lorries and goods vehicles that weigh less than 7.5 tonnes is 50mph on single carriageway roads, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways.

If they are articulated or towing a trailer they are limited to 60mph on motorways. This also applies to lorries that weigh more than 7.5 tonnes.

Caravans and cars with trailers that weigh less than 3.05 tonnes are limited to 70mph on motorways, 60mph on dual carriageways and 50mph on single carriageways.

Buses shorter than 12 meters in length are limited to 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways.

Buses longer than 12 meters are limited to 50mph on single carriageways, and 60mph on both dual carriageways and motorways.

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So what are the rules on drivers letting traffic past?

Rule 169 of the Highway Code states that motorists should not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if they are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle.

It informs drivers to frequently check their mirrors, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.

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Is it the same for caravans?

Rule 169 of the Highway Code applies to caravans meaning that they should pull over when it is safe to avoid creating long queues of traffic.

And cyclists?

Cyclists are not obliged to move to allow vehicles to overtake.

Rule 169 of the Highway Code does not mean that cyclists have to pull over for passing traffic, although police officers may suggest riding further to the left if it is safe to do so.

If the cyclists deems that the conditions are not safe for overtaking they are able to ride in the middle of the lane.

This gives them control of the flow and speed of the traffic until they feel it is safe again.

It is not illegal for cyclists to ignore cycle lanes. They are in place to improve the safety of cyclists, but it is up to their discretion if they choose to use them or not.

It is also not an offence for two cyclists to ride alongside each other, nor is it illegal for them to ride on ‘A’ roads.

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How can I overtake large vehicles?

While overtaking large vehicles can be difficult, if you take time to prepare your maneuver it can make a big difference.

You should drop back, this increases your ability to see ahead and also puts you within sight of the vehicle’s mirrors.

Make sure you have enough room to overtake and if you doubt the safety of the move avoid doing it.

It is also important not to assume that you can follow a driver who is already overtaking the large vehicle, there may be further traffic ahead.

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What is the advice from police?

Following a number of complaints about farmyard vehicles refusing to let traffic pass, Dyfed-Powys police have issued a statement to remind drivers of tractors and over large, slow vehicles to let traffic go by when it is safe to do so.

Inspector Mark Davies said: “A few tractor drivers will travel slowly along main roads, towing long, laden trailers and not give other vehicles the opportunity to pass.

“This causes a long snake of cars behind the tractor.

“Driver frustration then sets in, making impatient car drivers take extreme risks trying to overtake.

“The police recommendation to slow-moving vehicles is to pull over, where it is safe to do so, and make use of lay-bys, when you have six or more vehicles behind you.”

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What other advice is given to farmers?

The National Farmers Union Transport adviser, Tom Price, said: “The point to note is to pull in when it is safe.

“There could well be circumstances when it is not safe to use a lay-by, for example, if it is too small for the vehicle concerned.

“The presence of a lay-by does not automatically mean it has to be used.”

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And what’s the advice for frustrated drivers stuck in traffic?

A spokesman for the AA urged holiday drivers to be patient while driving in the countryside.

“They need to bear in mind that when they drive into rural areas they are going to come up against tractors and other agricultural traffic as they are part of the landscape.

“Tractor drivers know the local roads like the back of their hands and they will pull over when it is safe to do so.

“If they do not pull over there is a good chance that it probably is not safe.”

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First reported by WalesOnline

Anne Marie Morris should resign over N-word use say Devon Live…

Devon Live readers have said that Anne Marie Morris should resign as an MP after she was recorded using the N-word at a meeting of eurosceptics in Central London.

Ms Morris described the UK leaving the EU without a deal as a “real n*****r in the woodpile” at the launch of a report into the future for the UK’s lucrative financial sector after Brexit.

She has since apologised for the remarks, saying: “”The comment was unintentional and I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.”

But she has had the whip suspended by the Conservative Party, which means that although she is still an MP, she is no longer a Conservative MP.

An urgent investigation into the remarks had been launched by the Conservative Party. A spokesman for CCHQ said: “We are aware of these reports, this kind of language is completely unacceptable, and we are urgently investigating.”

Theresa May said: “I was shocked to hear of these remarks, which are completely unacceptable I immediately asked the Chief Whip to suspend the party whip.

“Language like this has absolutely no place in politics or in today’s society.”

But Devon Live readers, in a poll on our website, have said that she should resign as a result of her comments.

As of 10.30am on Tuesday, more than 4,000 people had voted in the poll, and 82 per cent said that she should resign.

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It echoes calls for her resignation that have been made by fellow politicians in Teignbridge.

Marie Chadwick, who was the Liberal Democrat candidate at the General Election in June, has called for her resignation and said that she has shown her true colours with the remarks.

Mrs Chadwick said: “She should resign and she needs to resign. She has a history of associating herself with people who hold dubious views and now she has shown that not only does she hold those views, she is not afraid to speak about them.

“You simply cannot have people who hold these views representing residents in parliament.

“It is worrying for the constituents that she is the MP who represents them and she has shown with these comments that she is simply not up to the job and she needs to resign.

Richard Younger-Ross, who was the former MP for Teignbridge but lost his seat to her in 2010, said: “Ms Morris is MP who does little except offend, is one of the worst MPs for replying to correspondence, an MP who seems to be rarely in her constituency, and an MP who seems to do little.

“If she was engaged with people, real people, she would not have said such an odious comment that offends people.

“She is simply out of touch. She will not resign as an MP, but she should make it clear that she will not re-stand.”

Ms Morris made the astonishing remark while discussing what financial services deal the UK could struck with Brussels after 2019.

Despite using the racist term, none of her fellow panelists, including Tory MPs Bill Cash and John Redwood, reacted to the comment.

After saying just seven per cent of financial services in the UK would be affected by Brexit, Morris, who campaigned to leave the EU, said: “Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

“Now we get to the real n****r in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?”

It comes just after she was forced to distance herself from comments made by her electoral agent and partner at a hustings who claimed ‘that the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates’.

During the debate around education and fair funding of schools, a member of the public stood up and said: ‘that the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates’.

The person who made that remark was Roger Kendrick, who is both Anne Marie Morris’s partner and her electoral agent.

Roger Kendrick and Anne Marie Morris

In response, Anne Marie Morris told DevonLive: “I don’t share the views expressed by Roger Kendrick.”