There is to be a rally in Queen’s Gardens, outside Croydon’s £140 million new head offices, at 11am this Saturday, January 25, to protest at the £75 fine meted out to 64-year-old local Roy Barnes for behaving properly and legally when walking his cocker spaniel through the public park which is named after Her Maj, surely the country’s most famous dog walker.
First the council wanted to get rid of the nightly soup kitchen outside Queen’s Gardens. Now they appear keen to make dog-walkers unwelcome. Who will be next before they go ahead and build their over-priced yuppie flats over the public open space next to Taberner House?
The council executives who brought us the ban on soup kitchens and who want to stop locals in South Norwood from re-naming a local lake after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are now flexing their muscles over the borough’s dog owners. The jobsworths may have bitten off more than they can chew this time…
As the Sadvertiser quite rightly reports, there is a local ordnance against dogs being allowed off their lead or fouling in Queen’s Gardens. But when Barnes was in the open space outside the Town Hall last October, his dog, Toby, was on a lead and was not shitting anywhere.
There is even a sign in Queen’s Gardens that states, “Dogs must be kept on a lead”. By definition, this is not a ban on dog-walking in Queen’s Gardens.
Confronted by Croydon Council jobsworths, though, Barnes was intimidated into paying an on-the-spot £75 fine because he did not want to have to go to court.
Now, other Croydon residents have decided to make a gesture of support for Barnes and against the Tory-run council’s heavy-handed enforcement officers by staging a mass dog walk in Queen’s Gardens this Saturday.
“I’m being a bit mischievous in suggesting the protest but if there are enough dogs, then they will struggle to fine everyone,” Peter Mead, the local resident who has suggested the mass protest, told the local paper. Mead does not own a dog, so he will probably escape a fine.
Unless, that is, the council “enforcement officers” take a dislike to him in some other way.
Coming to Croydon
- Holocaust Memorial concert, Jan 25
- STDLCC Screening: Winter Nomads, Jan 27
- Renaming ceremony for Lake Conan Doyle, Feb 1
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Feb 3
- Babylon at the Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4-6
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Mark Steel at Ashcroft Theatre, Feb 12
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Mr Pooter comes to Croydon, Feb 20-22
- Stop the Incinerator fund-raiser, Feb 24
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Mar 3
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
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