Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yay or nay!

Horses in Oxford St- on the way to the pet shop presumably...
pic Copyright Southampton City Council.

One of the things that never seems to surprise me as a local Councillor is the diverse range of decisions over such a range of issues a unitary authority like Southampton is expected to make. One issue that an outsider (or come to that the overwhelming number of local residents) would not expect the authority to have to deal with given how build up our city is, is the issue of animals (mainly horses) grazing illegally on public land. Yesterday however, that was just the problem the Conservative cabinet was faced with.
As ever, the issues are far from simple; a number of residents have complained, at least one woman has been injured by a horse, there are issues of disease and disposal of waste as well as the welfare of the animals themselves. Some residents allege that they have even been threatened with violence when they have complained. On the other side of the coin, some families have grazed animals informally on sites for years. In the case of the settled travelling community in Sholing (for example), for generations on land they believe to have grazing rights. Other residents support their right to do so and accuse those who want a clampdown of NIMBYISM (and worse).
The Council have now drawn up a policy to remove animals that are reported to have bitten, pushed or kicked members of the public. The idea is to go for a softly, softly approach rather than alienate any particular group, and review the policy in 6 months or so.
I have to say I found someone proporting to be one of Labour's official candidates comments a little amusing; he suggests,
One wonders if his Labour colleagues in Sholing with a little more experience of the issues share his views, not to mention the animal rights lobby...
Even more peculiar is that someone would want to impersonate him!!! Still they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!


Post a Comment

<< Home