A CAMPAIGN has been launched to create a dog friendly beach on the seafront which would be open throughout the year.

Westcliff resident and dog owner Stephen Cummins has launched the “Southend Dog Friendly Beach” campaign to allow a section of the seven miles of beach in the borough to have dogs on it for the entire year.

As things stand due to a public safety protection order in place, dogs are not allowed on any of the borough’s beaches between May 1 and September 30 every year.

Mr Cummins, 49, who owns two dogs, believes dog owners should be allowed somewhere for a swim in the sea and states the half mile stretch between Leigh and Chalkwell could be ideal.

He said: “It has three access points. It would be easy to signpost as the dog beach. It also has three red bins and a paddling area for when the tide is out.


Cute - Georgie at the beach

“There’s lots of beaches people can go to and not encounter dogs, but there’s lots of people that do have them and they want a place to go.

“Especially in hot weather like this if you’re out walking, you want to take your dogs for a paddle so they can cool down.

“I don’t want to get half the beaches for dogs, I thought if I go went small and a bit less contentious it could work.

“There would still be six and a half miles of beach where you don’t encounter dogs.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, has previously called for dogs to be allowed on Southend’s beaches all year round, handing a 750 signature-strong petition to Southend Council in January.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said it would welcome residents views but would need to properly consult before committing to anything.

He said: “I think there would be issues about how we would police it in a particular area.

“But the council will take on board and consider people’s feedback in any case. I am not saying it’s impossible.” Visit facebook.com/southenddogfriendlybeach