“Village footballers unable to play for level of fouling
Police have been called in over a dispute between the council and dog-walkers in an east Devon village.
The dispute started after East Budleigh parish council decided to fence off a football pitch on the recreation ground because games were being halted by the presence of dog mess.
Councillors have been subject to such abuse that they are no longer able to drink in the village pub, and the council refuses to engage with the dogwalkers collectively as they consider them a “hate group”.
The council said: “East Budleigh has been particularly bad for dog mess and . . . last season several football games had to be stopped to clear up the dog mess. The idea is to make it a safe area and free from dog mess for everyone — not just the football club.
However, Ray Marrs, from the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground, said: “Lots of people use the field to walk their dogs on and none of us has ever noticed a problem with dog poo on the pitch. How was it possible for councillors to have reached a decision to fence off our recreation ground . . . based upon somebody’s notion of dog fouling without any consultation or knowledge of the village?”
He added that he knew of the abuse and did not condone it. The police are investigating allegations of abusive behaviour and harassment.”