PENSIONERS are protesting against proposals to ban owners from letting their dogs run loose on open land.
They have hit out at Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council's bid to fine owners if caught with a dog off a lead in recreation areas like Queen's Park and other green spaces.
The authority is pushing new dog control orders which could be implemented under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.
They will replace existing bylaws, which allow for fines of £50 for some offences but are hard to enforce.
They will include making it compulsory for dogs to be kept on a lead at all times in open spaces and from marked playing pitches.
Under the new proposals owners who break the ban could be fined up to £1,000.
Hugh Emerson, secretary of the Crewe and District Northern Pensioners pressure group, said: 'For many
pensioners, owning a dog is an important part of their life, giving them the opportunity to go out and meet other people.
'People who don't have transport need to go to their local park to let their dog run off the lead.
'The only other option is to let dogs run freely on farmland, which is not always possible and can present a danger when there is stock around.'
Members of the group will be making their own representations to the council in the New Year.
And in Nantwich, residents are asking MP Gwyneth Dunwoody to support their objections. More than 100 angry dog owners packed a public meeting on Thursday.
Town council chairman Steve Hope slammed the orders as 'ridiculous.'
Town council clerk Riddell Graham has sent a letter of objection on behalf of the council. The borough council expects all letters to be received by January 26 when consultation ends.