FRESH plans have been launched to keep dogs under control on Canvey beaches over the summer.

A controversial bid to ban pets from the beaches was voted down last year.

But Castle Point Council bosses are now proposing a plan which would see dogs kept on a lead at all times while on the beaches and walkways.

It would cover April 1 until September 30, inclusive each year.

Last year’s proposed ban boiled down to worries over dog mess being left across the island and on the beach, but 72 per cent said there no significant problem with dogs mess on the beach.

A total of 39 per cent of the 731 residents surveyed called for no additional restrictions on the beach, with the same amount calling for no action on the seaward side of the walkway, and 42 per cent in relation to the landward side of the walkway.

But the new plans have been given a cautious backing.

Hayley Samson, 48, from Long Road, Canvey, said: “I’m not sure why there is another proposal from the council after the last one caused quite a lot of controversy.

“It is always going to get mixed reviews - you have the dog owners who will usually be against a ban, and those who agree with a ban usually aren’t dog owners.

“I really don’t think it’s the fault of the dogs, it’s the owners, some of whom are irresponsible, and this is a shame as it ruins it for everyone else.

“I do think though, it is more reasonable to ask that dogs stay on a lead on the beach rather than ban them completely.”

Fellow Canvey resident Tracey Day added: “I’ve got dogs and I wouldn’t take them down to the beach because yes you can clean the dog mess up but you can’t clean dog’s urine from the sand so kids playing in it isn’t hygienic.

“So, for me banning dogs from the beach at certain times is a great idea.

“Cornwall have it sussed amazingly and the beaches are fantastic. Dog owners are actually extremely responsible and stick to the rules, and on winter months the dogs have the beach again which works amazingly, but dogs owners need to be more responsible for cleaning up after their dogs.”

Under the Anti–social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, it is an offence not to pick up your dog’s faeces after it has fouled on any open land to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access within the Castle Point boundary.