James Duddridge MP has used his bi-monthly column in a local magazine to outline the benefits a dog-friendly beach in Southend would bring.
Writing in June's edition of the Oracle, the Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East explained: "I am an advocate of getting a year-round dog-friendly beach here in Southend.
"Not for any personal reasons, I do not own a dog, in fact I have three cats. But I genuinely believe it will be a benefit to our town - and boost our post-Covid recovery."
He continued: "I appreciate it has become a local 'Marmite' topic, you’re either for or against the idea. Those, like me, who are pushing for a dog-friendly beach believe it will encourage exercise, boost people’s mental health, and give Southend another unique selling point to visitors who may be looking for a day out, or staycation, with their four-legged friend."
Recognising that some people had legitimate concerns, he added: "Designated dog-friendly zones in the quieter parts of a seafront - or timed exclusions - would be preferable, and one most people, I believe, would support."
James' campaign has been backed by over 1,000 local people and the UK's largest dog welfare charity Dogs Trust.
You can read his full column in this month's Oracle here.