Council votes to keep things as they are - but review it again in 18 months

Dogs will continue to be welcome on Instow Beach as councillors voted to leave things as they are.

A lively parish council meeting on Thursday saw dog walkers in attendance, concerned the council's plan to review the situation could lead to restrictions or a ban.

It followed a 'show of strength' earlier in the day when around 50 dogs and their walkers gathered at the beach in a rally organised by the Dog Walkers Alliance.

At the meeting, councillors voted to maintain the status quo, with dogs welcome provided they were under control, but agreed to review it again in 18 months.

Council chairman Brian Moores said the furore had been over 'a non issue' and they had only ever intended to review it.

"I want to stress the reason why it's got so out of hand is because of rumour and speculation that we were going to ban dogs and that was quite clearly not the case," he said.

"We were there to review it, we said we would and that's what we did."

Joanne Bell of the Dog Walkers Alliance said 'commonsense had reigned': "We are all very happy the parish council came down on our side and voted unanimously to keep things as they are.

"They have decided to review the issue, yet again in 18 months time - but I'm sure the results will be the same."