Consultation Survey

Latest Situation

You will see below our independent analysis of the survey results. Members of Fylde Orders for Dog Control Action Group attended a meeting of the Fylde Council Operational Management Committee meeting held on 14 March and stated objections before the start of the meeting under the 'Public Platform' facilities. Specifically the Council was asked to take down the incorrect statement of support for proposals published on the Council website and to replace it with correct information.

As the incorrect information was still online 3 days later a formal complaint was raised with the Chief Executive and the statement was removed shortly afterwards and replaced with a link to SurveyMonkey (the company that provided the survey facilities) that provided direct access to ALL of the data held. Whoever arranged the change had clearly not checked what had been done with the result that confidential information including email addresses, every bit of data entered by each responder - which could easily be correlated with the email address, and in some cases to other personal information that had been entered by responders in free text fields.

This exposure of data was spotted by several people and attempts were made by members of the Fylde Orders for Dog Control Action Group to contact Fylde Council so they could put this right. It took two attempts to do this and the exposure was finally fixed - but by then the data had been online for an estimated 24 hours. During this time anyone accessing SurveyMonkey could have captured email addresses and other data and we currently have no idea how many people did this.

Further complaints are being made to Fylde Council as this is a clear violation of Data Protection laws and Fylde Council's own declaration of "How Fylde Council Uses Your Information" published on its website HERE.

It is difficult to escape the irony of the SurveyMonkey page that displayed the confidential information provided by survey responders:

SurveyMonkey Screenshot
Redacted view of a sample of email addresses freely available via the Council website link

More details about the complaints made and Fylde Council's responses to them will be added here in due course.

Background

If you have reached this page you will probably be familiar with most of the background to the survey discussed here; if not you can catch up by checking out the other pages of this website.

Citizens of The Fylde expect their Council and Councillors to act impartially and for the benefit of the entire community. However it is abundantly clear that there is a strong anti-dog and dog-owning bias in all of the Council's dealings when it comes to dogs.

This is evident in:

We analysed the questionnaire when it was first published and our comments on this are further down this page. Responses to various Freedom of Information requests have vindicated the statements we made and we have no reason to change any of the views expressed. We will now demonstrate how the statements made with respect to public support for the Council PSPO proposals are as biased and misleading as the wording of the survey questionnaire. We based the analysis on data provided by Fylde Council as the result of a Freedom of Information Request.

You are welcome to validate our calculations using the original data which can be accessed from our Freedom of Information page.

Independent Analysis of the Survey Results

The Data and Calculations

The data used in calculating support comes from SurveyMonkey in the form of a file summarising responses. The options available to responders was inconsistent as follows:

There were 1,996 responses to the survey. The number of 'Support' responses to each question is contained in the data file from SurveyMonkey so the calculation is straightforward in each case - divide the number of 'Support' responses by 1996 and multiply by 100.

Now we found that quite an easy calculation - but clearly it produced a result that Fylde Council didn't like, so they decided to cheat by eliminating from the calculations all responses other than Support or Object. This distortion results in totally false claims about the support given to proposals as can clearly be seen in the table below - all but one result is biased in favour of the Council's proposals as a result.

Reality Check on Survey Results published by Fylde Council
Survey Results

As 'a picture speaks a thousand words', we present below an analysis of responses to the questions in the table above as pie charts. Just to ensure we are not accused of misleading people ourselves, this is how it works:

Fouling pie Cemetary pie Highway pie Play areas pie Car park pie Amenity Beach pie Water Features pie Cenotaph Gardens pie Rose Gardens pie Nature Reserve pie Ashton pie Mem Gardens Freckleton pie Meadow Park Staining pie Lowther Gardens pie Larbreck Play Area pie Promenade Area pie Staining Rise pie Fairhaven pie Lytham Green pie Hope Street pie Derby Road pie Derby Road pie Orchard Elswick pie Bush Lane pie Granny's Bay pie Coastal pie Blackpool Road pie

Our Comments When the Survey was Published

About the Survey

Unfortunately the construction of the Fylde Council survey fails to meet good practice in its design and is flawed in several ways which is why we are recommending that you oppose most of the proposals.

Survey Questions and Comments

The table below summarises the survey questions, the changes involved and comments on each question. Those that involve new restrictions are highlighed with a 'Red Card' and we give reasons why we ask that you OPPOSE them when you complete the survey.

Question # Area Change Comments
1 All public areas No change: Dog faeces to be removed Agree. All responsible dog owners do this anyway
2 All adopted highways None: Dogs on leads on all adopted highways in the Borough Agree. All responsible dog owners do this anyway
3 All Council car parks New restriction: Dogs on leads There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
4 Lytham Cemetery New restriction: Dogs on leads Agree
5 Lytham St. Annes Nature Reserve None: Dogs on leads Lytham St. Annes Nature Reserve The questionnaire does not specify precisely what area the proposed restriction applies to. There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
6 Ashton Gardens No change: Dogs on leadsThere is no objective evidence of a problem requiring an on-lead restriction everywhere.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
7 Promenade and Promenade Gardens Proposal unclearly statedIn the absence of clarity -
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
8 Fairhaven Marine Park No change: Dogs on leadsIt has been custom and practice since the lake was built for people to exercise dogs off lead on the areas between the Stanner Bank car park and the lake, and the grassy area of the Outer Promenade between the sea wall and the bushes between the promenade and Fairhaven Lake. There is no evidence of this usage causing problems and no need for this restriction.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unnecessary restriction.
9 Granny's Bay New restriction: Dogs on leads It has been custom and practice for people to walk their dogs off lead in this area for hundreds of years and there is no objective evidence of dogs causing problem with birds.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
10 Beach area affected by Sea-defence redevelopment works New restriction: Dogs on leads Natural England have not yet started to plan for new coastal access rights around Lytham St Annes so why would they have provided advice to Fylde Council at this stage? There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
11 Lytham Green Currently dogs on leads. Proposed change to dogs on lead 'on direction', and some parts of Green requirement for dogs on lead 1 May to 30 Sep It has been custom and practice for people to exercise dogs off lead on Lytham Green . There is no evidence of this usage causing problems and no need for this restriction.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unncessary restriction.
12 Bush Lane Playing Field Freckleton Obscure but suggests dogs on lead and removal of exclusion areaIn the absence of clarity -
Please OPPOSE this item - The current order should be allowed to lapse
13 Memorial Gardens Freckleton No change: Dogs on leads already The Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
14 Derby Road Wesham No change: Dogs on leads already The Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
15 Fleetwood Road playing fields Wesham Dogs on leads alreadyThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
16 Larbreck Play Area, Elswick Dogs on leads alreadyThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
17 Meadow Park Play Area, Staining No change: Dogs on leads alreadyThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
18 Blackpool Road North Playing Fields St. Annes New restriction: Dogs on leads Fields only in use for a few hours per week and take up virtually all of the area. There is no alternative for exercising dogs off lead made available nearby. This will discriminate against local people who are disabled, elderly and unable to go to the beach, or with children in pushchairs or prams. There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
19 Hope Street Park, St Annes Dogs on leads already. Dogs should be allowed off-lead here apart from children's play areas and MUGAs which are covered in another question
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
20 Lowther Gardens No change: Dogs on leads alreadyThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
21 Children's Play areas and Multi-use Games Areas (excluding football pitches)Change to dogs being excluded This will discriminate against local people with children in pushchairs or prams who also want to walk their dog. The questionnaire does not give an option to base the restriction to 'dogs on leads'. There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
22 Water featuresChange to dogs being excludedThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs. Also if the water is unsafe for dogs it must be unsafe for people which should prohibit activities like canoeing, boating etc. and a danger to bird wildlife.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
23 Amenity Beach St AnnesNo change: dogs excluded 1 May to 30 SeptemberAgree. All responsible dog owners do this anyway
24 Rose Garden in Memorial Gardens Freckleton No change: Dogs excludedThe Council has provided no objective evidence of a problem caused by dogs at this location.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
25 Cenotaph Gardens Freckleton No change: Dogs excluded Doesn't seem necessary if dogs are on a lead. The current restriction discriminates against any ex-servicemen or relatives who might want to go there with a dog for no obvious reason.
Please OPPOSE this could be an unnecessary restriction.
26 Orchard and Nature Reserve Elswick Village HallChange from no controls to dogs excluded There is already very limited scope for dog exercise in Elswick. There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires such restrictions and the survey does not provide an option to approve a 'dogs on leads' restriction. Does not cater for families with children and dogs.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction..
27 Staining Rise Play Area, Staining Currently dogs on leads but dogs to be excluded The Council initially claimed that play equipment was being damaged by dogs but this claim appears to have been withdrawn. There is no objective evidence that there is a problem that requires new restrictions.
Please OPPOSE this item as it is an unjustified new restriction.
28 Number of dogs Currently no limit The Council has provided no objective evidence of issues related to the number of dogs being walked and has posed this question in a completely biased way including presenting as evidence a 'hearsay' statement that is not backed up by objective facts. The question is in fact so biased that advice is being sought about a legal challenge should a limit be introduced.
Please respond NO LIMIT to this question.
29 ResidenceAre you a Fylde resident
30 VisitorIf not a resident are you a regular visitor
31 BusinessDo you own a business in Fylde Borough
32 Dog walkerAre you a professional dog walker
33 Dog ownerDo you own a dog
34 Other comments or feedbackPlace for your real feedback rather than the carefully crafted and biased questions Please make full use of this item as it is the only place you can put things in your own words rather than follow the council's biased questions.
35 EmailProvide email address if you want news

Thank you for your support.

Ann DeRizzio, Samantha Ramsay, Brian Watson, Katy Grierson

Email positive suggestions to: pspo@benjidog.co.uk