Owners secure Coedffranc Council rethink on ban on dogs running off the lead in Skewen Park
DOG owners whose hackles were raised by a ban in Skewen Park have forced councillors into a rethink.
Coedffranc Community Council caused uproar when it decided to ban dogs from being allowed to run off the lead anywhere in the park.
The council had originally investigated whether it could provide a designated area of the park where dogs could be allowed off the lead.
Now that is what members are likely to introduce after the ban provoked an angry response in the community.
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In November, 50 owners packed out a public meeting in Skewen Rugby Club.
They said the decision had been made without any public consultation.
Petitions were circulated and there was even talk of efforts to get the council disbanded.
The matter was raised again at Coedffranc's latest meeting, when details of letters of objection were presented to members.
Several residents attended the meeting.
Council clerk Wendy Thomas said afterwards: "We are now going to be looking at a compromise.
"This will involve an area of the park where dogs will be allowed off the lead, but they would have to be kept on leads elsewhere."
Because of council procedures the matter cannot be discussed further until the original decision has been rescinded.
This is likely to happen at the council's next meeting, on Wednesday of next week.
Mrs Thomas said: "It has been agreed in principle to provide a designated area, but not confirmed yet."
One of the residents who attended November's public meeting and this month's Coedffranc meeting was Keri Vandenberg.
In November she said there had been talk of trying to disband the council.
"There are very strong feelings about it," she said. "They seem to have made an arbitrary decision."
"We are paying money to this council and we do not know what its remit is. A small number of councillors have made a decision that a large number of people they represent disagree with."
However, Mrs Vandenberg said she was happy with the rethink.
"It looks as if they are now going to give us what we wanted in the first place.
"It's common sense. If you want to let your dog off the lead, you can. If you don't, you still have the rest of the park you can go to," she added.