Author Topic: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007  (Read 26691 times)

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Offline Tobes

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2007, 12:30:13 PM »
Well, the results of the 'con-sultation' are already being trumpeted ! Read here - http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/swindonnewsheadlines/display.var.1430248.0.putting_the_bite_on_dogs.php

Apparently -

Quote
A TOWN-WIDE consultation over whether dog control orders should be enforced has been met with a positive response from residents, according to the cabinet member behind the proposals.


That person is of course Labour Con-servative councillor Wren (he of the forthcoming stinking bins). Isn't it quite impressive that the Adver story is dated the 28th of May - AND THE WHOLE CONSULTATION ONLY STARTED ON THE 25TH? They've reached a pretty impressive conclusion after four days of commentary, have they not?  O0

Well, if anyone wants to express their opinion regarding an obviously spun campaign which appears to have reached its already foregone conclusion, we're told we can do so at http://www.swindon.gov.uk/latestnews/latestnewsheader/news/newsitemdisplayv2.htm?itemid=85355. People can also send comments in writing to: Dog Control Orders, Environmental Protection, Premier House, Station Road, Swindon SN1 1TZ.

Here's a classic from the piece:

Quote
The Exclusion Of Dogs order would ban dogs from children's play areas, cemeteries, bowling greens, skateboard parks or anywhere with a no dogs' sign.


... so what's the point of the 'No Dogs' signs already in existance then??? Crass stupidity. Still no info regarding who is supposed to police these additional regulations...

Interestingly, one of the participants on the Swindon Adver chat board claims that original sponsor of the motion, councillor Glaholm, has alrdeady stated in public that his wife is terrified of dogs... Hmmm...   ??? Anyone else able to dig out the source of this rumour and comment on its veracity?

INTERESTINGLY given the proposals heritage, if Mr Wren is really interested about the environment, it would seem a little odd that the online questionaire is apparently unavailable, necessitating the printing off of the Adobe version of the form. In turn, when printing on A4 (as most of us will) - the size of the boxes for comments are 5mm x 85mm. Irony aside regarding the extra paperwork, regarding the 'value' of our comments, it looks like their ears and eyes are wide closed once again.

Perusing the site, you'll note than Swindon currently has a grand total of ONE dog enforcement officer. Guess he/she will have their work cut out when this is inevitably passed! That 'leads', if you'll pardon the pun, me back to my earlier comments about enforcement, who will do it, and more importantly, how it will be funded.

Interestingly again, even the briefest of views tell the reader that provisions aare ALREADY in place for most of the areas that this new and pointless piece of bureaucrasy seeks to address: http://193.113.179.211/environment/environment-animal-welfare/dogwarden/environment-animal-dog-law.htm

On fouling, we already have:  http://193.113.179.211/environment/environment-animal-welfare/dogwarden/dogfouling.htm

The point is that most of the public are unaware that a bit chunk of what is being proposed is ALREADY covered.

 If there is a reason to ensure dogs in parks near children's playing areas need to be kept on leads for the purposes of 'safety' - lets have access to some statistics. So far, all the Adver can do is re-quote the mauling to death of a swan - a further irony, given that swans themselves can be dangerous to the public (but their owner, The Queen has so far excaped legislation making her responsible for the picking up of their guano!)

So, there you have it. An ill conceived, ill considered and (so far) ill consulted waste of tax payers and council time - time which ought to be spent addressing serious issues, not flirting with the media.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2007, 01:11:37 PM by Tobes »
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2007, 03:30:33 PM »
Well put Tobes.

I spoke with Cllr Peter Greenhalgh, (one of my ward councillors), about this the other day and I'm pleased to report he's happy to relay his ward residents opinions to the cabinet.

Members of the public can also attend the SBC cabinet meeting, and put questions directly to the cabinet on Wednesday June the 6th at 6pm in the Council Chamber at Euclid Street.

TS Calendar entry here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=1883.msg10262#msg10262

I'll be going alone to ask the very questions posted within this thread..... I hope others will also attend.

Residents of Freshbrook and Grange Park can email their Councillors at these email addresses:

Cllr Mick Bray BrMicha454@aol.com

Cllr Michael Dickinson mdickinson@swindon.gov.uk

Cllr Peter Greenhalgh PGreenhalgh@swindon.gov.uk

You can find complete contact details for other ward Councillors here http://ww2.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgMemberIndex.asp?bcr=1

If you are concerned that existing bylaws aren't being properly implemented, and that an unneccessary and expensive consultation is being performed at your expense without proper justification....let your councillor know!  I am.

 

 

Offline Raven

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2007, 03:57:32 PM »

Ve could create a zeries ov areas vere civilians excercise zeir animals, modelled along zee lines of  Stalag Vidgeway, vich as you know is a high security zone. Zees medium security areas zat ve could call "open facilities" vould still be under our ultimate control and observation by ze uus ov our SS "Swindon Stormtroopers". Zere deployment vould be best employed if zese areas vere also surrounded by razor vire wiz limited aczess points. At zese points armed divizions vould interrogate vor possezion ov zecure restraintz zus ensuring ze animalz vould not breach freedom controlz. Upon violation ov zees regulations, internment campz stalags I, II, III & IV vould be uzed vor extermination of beastz, and zee civilianz vould be issued viz penalty notizes and zere identity cardz vithdrawn until penance haz veen extracted. All informazionz vould ve kept on vile and ve held vor diztribuzion to agenziez vor zee purpoze ov vithdrawing credit vacilities and zee establishment ov council tax levvies zus unsuring zee masterz can ultimately rule ze vorld.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2007, 05:39:36 PM »
 
 ;D

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2007, 06:24:42 PM »


http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/50016--i.htm

It seems that section 55 (Dog Control Orders) of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 goes a bit farther than SBC's consultation admits to.

When implemented, section 55 replaces all other bye-laws dealing with the fouling of land, exlusion of and control of dogs.

Section 55 also allows the Council to lawfully limit:

 
Quote from:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/50016--i.htm
the number of dogs which a person may take on to any land


No mention of that in the Advertisers coverage or David Wrens faux consultation eh?


Triumph

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2007, 07:28:36 PM »
 :D

Well Raven methinks I've seen this somewhere before!!

 :D

and Cruella will get her spotty dogs after all, if they ever dare visit Swindon again.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2007, 11:25:50 AM »
I'm wondering whether SBC are deliberately confusing information with consultation.

If the decision to implement Dog Control orders has already been taken then whatever happens next can only be ‘for information’.

Consultation should only take place when there is still a real decision to be made based on a choice between different possible courses of action.

Some may see this confusion as desirable. However, implying choice when in reality the matter is closed does no one any favours (especially politicians).

The public are increasingly media savvy and can smell a CON-sultation when they see one. Scrutiny and audit requirements mean that if consultation is deemed to be of insufficient quality, there is a high risk that authorities will have to rip it up and start again.

It is best to be honest and open. If there is no will or no space to consult then just say so.

I'm also concerned about a 'consultation' I participated in earlier this week with the SBC ASBO team in the town centre.  During the 'consultation' I was asked whether anything concerned me in the Town centre....

....."Drunk adults at weekends" says I.  To which the ASBO guy writes "Drunk youths" on his consultation paper.

I tell him: "That's not what I said.......please remove 'youths', I said 'adults'...."

This wasn't what the guy wanted to hear, because he inserted the term 'youths' a further couple of times into both the conversation and onto the consultation paper. Each time I had to re-iterate that he was putting words into my mouth, and recording statements innaccurately.

At no time was I asked my name or address.

What is the value of these on-street 'consultations' exactly?, surely without names and addresses being recorded the papers themselves are legally nothing more than hear-say.

After examining the content of the Dogs Control Orders consultation, and my experience with the ASBO team 'consultation', I have serious and grave doubts about the way in which SBC is 'consulting' on various issues.

Where to go next?.....is there any point attending a cabinet meeting and raising these points, or have the decisions already been taken and the consultations are a complete money wasting sham?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2007, 11:51:12 AM »

Further to the above:

I have good reason to believe that council officers are already receiving 'enforcement' training to prepare them for issuing £80 on the spot fines.

If this is true, as I'm sure it is, why would SBC be spending money on enforcement training prior to a genuine consultation being concluded?.

Perhaps our Councillor members would like to make their own enquiries regarding enforcement training and confirm whether my understanding is correct.


Offline James

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2007, 12:05:34 PM »
Quote
Scrutiny and audit requirements mean that if consultation is deemed to be of insufficient quality, there is a high risk that authorities will have to rip it up and start again.


I don't think there is any doubt that the questions on the survey were rather bias. Any genuine pollster would have laughed at their obviousness.

Quote
It is a good idea for dogs to be on lead next to a road
is going to get a very positive responce as it is a good idea. Few would argue with that.
However the REAL question is
Quote
Should dog onwers be REQUIRED to have their dogs on a lead next to a main road
A very very different question.


James

rob-magic

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2007, 04:40:56 PM »
James,

Well done for highlighting this example of psycology being used on the unsuspecting public.

This process of thinking is very important and proves very informative and enlightening time and time again. Carry on.

It would seem obvious, but c'mon, how many times have you been looking for your sunglasses or hat when you are wearing them or keys when you are holding them?

Good lad.

 8)

Offline Woodchopper

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2007, 01:43:55 PM »


Hi everyone, i've been enjoying reading the posts as a guest but then this thread got me going!...so to speak.

Don't you think that as it would appear the decision has already been taken we invite our illustrious and noble Council Leader Roderick Bluh to deny it in our 'Council Chamber'?  He will have to comment as it would otherwise prove that decisions are being taken in Cabinet without the due democratic process being followed? 

and despite training what is an enforcement officer going to do with a dog walker who refuses to identify him or herself?   Follow them until they eventually go home, I don't think so?  Just another means of creating antagonism between the public and council officials, I suggest.

Offline Tig

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2007, 05:19:27 PM »
This morning i went for my morning walk around lydiard Park and i would like to point out some observations i made,

no dog poo to be seen anywere, most dogs were on leads around the lawn and park area and enjoying their run in the fields beyond the events field. So this tells me that most dog owners are responsible.

How ever i did count 43 single items of rubbish on the grounds, mainly on the lawn, playarea, and driveway, mainly crisp packets, sweet wrapers and cans.

so this would be no fines for dog owners and 43 £80 other fines. So to make this work financally SBC will need to create new rules for dog owners to break (like the lenght of lead, no dog areas, how many dogs one person can walk, and under this section 55 they can do all of these and more) or have the enforcers trained in targeting all different types of offences like littering or both.

Let's be realistic here this is just a money making scheme it has nothing to do with dog control, the by laws are already there for were a dog can be off the lead, clearing of poo and no dog areas.

someone said to me it's like dog asbos but i soon pointed out that children have to offend first to get an asbo, this is slapping an asbo on all dog owners before an offence has happened due to a few irisponsible dog owners. I tell you what lets slap asbos on all 10-17 year olds for anti soical behaviour due to the few that comit this offence.

I would rather see the council be honest and say we have found a way of making money then hiding behind this act.

i would like to know how may street cleaners will be out of work once the enforcers are tackling the issue of litter  ???

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2007, 12:03:43 AM »
Update:

Also blogged here: http://www.blogswindon.org/?p=17

Tonight I wandered along to the cabinet open forum and had a little chat.....

Quote
Fionuala Foley (Chair) ....we'll start with Geoff Reid

Me: " Thanks, good evening....as you said, it's to do with dog control orders, [my question], did the cabinet unanimously agree on the wording of the dog control orders public consultation questionaire, and does it believe the questionaire to be flawless?"

Fionuala Foley: " I'll start by saying the issue of dog control orders came to cabinet a number of months ago and was deferred because we weren't happy with the wording, it came back to us as further amended with a park taken out that was going to be subject to the restrictions. Having a discussion about whether we did it to be flawless, I'll let David Wren come in, he was the cabinet lead member of this service area so I'll ask David to comment while Steve Harcourt is here, so I'm quite sure between David and Steve... Daviod would you like to start?"

David Wren: " Yeah, Hi. Can I just confirm that this is the actual questionaire as opposed to the proposal for the dog orders?"

Geoff Reid: " Yes. The questionair that you put out to the public, yeah. The one you want the public to contribute to and send back to yourselves"

David Wren: " Thank you, I understand. The actual wording of any questionaire I think you can never say is flawless, it depends where you're coming from, but if there is anything you want to make a comment on...that you don't think is covered in any of those questions, I think it is quite in order that anybody could just write a missive on the back of the form....but as to whether it's flawless it all depends on which angle you're coming in from.

Peter Greenhalgh: " Is it flawless?, no....is the simple answer, very few of our questionaires are.  I think this one, if you're a dog owner, is.....appears very biased. For example, it doesn't actually ask whether you are a dog owner as a respondee, so no, it's not flawless so if David doesn't mind I can quite happily give you his email address and any comments that you, or anyone else has, that you wish to make, will be forwarded to him. Obviously we can discuss that, at cabinet, when the decision actually comes, on whether or not to implement it.

David Wren: " Yes, I'd just like to say that we have had comments from dog owners and non dog owners and views are different, so I'm not quite sure whether it's relevent whether or not you're a dog owner to how you answer the survey or whether you are a dog owner, but [I'm] more than happy to answer any questions....consultations are out there, you'll find my email details on the website so I'm happy to take any comments which will be feedback as part of that consultation process."

Geoff Reid: " Thank you....can I ask another question?.....has the decision to implement section 55 already been taken by cabinet, or is this a real consultation?"

David Wren: "Right, if I can give you some background.....this started off because a councillor brought this up as a motion at full council.  We are obliged as cabinet to take that forward, and that's what we're doing....so we are going out to consultation. Cabinet are actually devided on this so it's not a forgone conclusion...so we will be looking at the consultation replies...so we will be discussing and making a decision and giving a recommendation to council on that consultation."

Geoff Reid: " I've nearly finished...sorry to everyone else." [waiting to ask questions]

Fionuala Foley: " Fine, you've got three minutes, it's fine."

Geoff Reid: " Will the cabinet then......are you saying that the cabinet agrees to a full council debate on this....including a free vote, which would have to be on the 19th of July at the next full council meeting, or do you intend to take this decision as a cabinet in your cabinet meetingon the 25th of July...six days later.?"

David Wren: Normally, if there's a financial....um, if there's finances concerned cabinet make the decision, that's why it's come to cabinet instead of full council. We've already discussed whether or not we'll have a free vote, as to whether cabinet decide it goes back to full council....."

Councillor Foley interrupts.....

Fionuala Foley: ".... Can I, yes I'll just check with Stephen, [Stephen Taylor - The Borough Solicitor], my understanding of this...[Stephen Taylor gives some advice to the chair].....because this action came out of a question....a motion at full council by Councillor Glaholm, it will go back to full council."

Geoff Reid: " Excellent, thank you. That answers my question."
[/color]


At least there is now the possibility of a discussion in the chamber regarding this.  I'm not sure it would have happened automatically without giving the cabinet a little nudge....it certainly seems that David Wren, before Councillor Foley interrupted him, was about to say it would be a cabinet decision.

I had three supplementary questions which I didn't have time to ask.....I'll save those for the next full council meeting.

Before i left I had a chat with Steve Harcourt, [SBC officer], who confirmed my understanding that Swindon Borough Council is under no legal pressure to adopt section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005....it is entirely optional.  As David Wren said, it has gone out to consultation because one councillor proposed a motion to adopt section 55, another one seconded it and then a majority of the councillors voted the motion to adopt through......

.....happily voting to adopt legislation that they, in all likelihood hadn't actually read through.   

The long watch continues....... 

« Last Edit: June 07, 2007, 01:09:25 AM by Geoff Reid »

Offline Jarvis

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2007, 10:43:52 AM »

Cool. Good to see that the consultation/consideration/discussion and vote will be taken at full council and not in some committee room by just 8 people.

Good notes, were you taking shorthand notes?.


Offline Woodchopper

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2007, 11:53:56 AM »
Well folks, I find your Cabinet Consultation meeting very worrying fluff fluff er more fluff and confusion - it sounds just like our Labour government to me -oh I've got an idea and I want to change everything to give the illusion we are making progress, oh its not working so we will change it again

Sounds as though this administration has lost its way!!

What about the civil order problems in the centre of town and what are the Police doing about it?
What about the Grafitti and Fly tipping all over town?
What about the Traffic Problems/Chaos -  just go to Chippenham if you want to see how bad it is here.?....
How many Civil Court Cases has Stephen Taylor brought for the recovery of costs against the perpetrators of criminal damage to council property? -  following Peter Mallinson's Motion before Council

and all you can do is talk about Dog Orders - I despair!!

and what's our wonderful opposition got to say about it?- absolutely nothing and you wonder why nobody takes any notice of local politics!!





Offline Tobes

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2007, 12:54:09 PM »
Eh oop woodchopper. Got to agree with much of what you've said - though I don't really see what much extra else the council can do about the graffiti and tagging - looks to me as though they've taken as much action as thery can...

Where I do agree with you though is regarding the danger of spun consultations and the devising of campaigns designed to show an uninforceable solution to a problem that they've selectively identified, defined and then 'reacted' to. Like you say, there are far more important things for them to be spending their time and efforts upon.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Woodchopper

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2007, 04:38:18 PM »
Hey Tobes now that I have scraped myself of the ceiling and yes I was mad and still am to some degree.

My issue is that quite simply there must be more important things for the administration to address and this is so irrelevent in view of Geoff's conversation with Steve Harcourt.  If it isn't a legal requirement why even bother about it...

and isn't it part of David Wren remit to deal with Grafitti - if so why do people exiting the Bus Station have to look at it on the white painted boards on the area surrounding the old Post Office redevelopment - with Your Swindon Stickers on it drawing attention to the fact it is a municipal responsibility to deal with it!!!

The Council's ability to look after its own infrastructure is abysmal, just look how much there is on and around Euclid Street - what an appalling example and what on earth do people arriving in 'our' town think of us when they see all this mindless Criminal Damage so obviously displayed in our Town Centre?

and have I read somewher else there is an hour wait to enter the Council tip in Cheney Manor - isn't this part of David Wren's remit as well?  You have an awful lot to do David so how do you have the time to waste on Dog Control Order Legislation? - get real!!

Offline concerned_of_Old_Town

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2007, 05:51:19 PM »
Just come across this thread and coincidently heard someone talking about it at work.

As an occassional jogger I find one of the most annoying things is when you stumble across across a large dog off his lead along when jogging somewhere like the old railway track.  It amazes me how inconsiderate owners are when invariably dog makes a play at you.

Think be a nightmare to enforce and must admit i thought some of the proposals ie clearing up dog mess was actually the law anyway.

I will be supporting the proposal and be writing to the council accordingly

BTW Probably guess I don't like dogs too much
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 06:20:52 PM by concerned_of_Old_Town »

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2007, 06:13:57 PM »

I don't think old railway lines will be covered by the DCO's.

Paradoxically (sp?), if you regularly use old railway lines, country rights of way etc, that are currently quite quiet, the implementation of DCO's may make those places very much busier with dog walkers because they won't be covered by the DCO's in respect of keeping dogs on leads.

Don't let me dissuade you from supporting DCO's though, each is entitled to their own opinion and I can completely see where you're coming from.

If DCO's started tomorrow they wouldn't really affect us, or our dogs because we're part of the vast majority of dog owners who do keep their dogs on leads when it's sensible to do so, do clean up after them, (although that's almost always at home anyway), and do think of others.

What I've been trying to do is make sure SBC follow the proper process...which Wednesday nights forum revealed that they weren't intending to, and stir up some discussion.

I'll make a prediction though.... the revenue raised by the new enforcement team will be almost exclusively from non dog owners.

 


Offline Tobes

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Re: SBC Dog Control Orders Consultation Starts Today - May 25th 2007
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2007, 08:21:11 PM »
Can we extend the orders to cover joggers? They're invariably sweaty, they smell unpleasant (and often look unpleasant too) - and many of them jog along to their iPods, deaf to the presence of other pavement users, making them a positive hazard!
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'