PROPOSALS which were misinterpreted by many as a plan to ‘ban’ dogs from certain popular dogwalking spots in the Vale have been put on hold.

The council has temporarily postponed a consultation which came to light last week, saying that they never intended to carry-out a “wide-ranging ban” on dogs in public spaces.

Initial reports stated that the council had launched a consultation on plans to introduce on-the-spot fines for dog walkers who failed to clean up mess and new bylaws prohibiting dog walkers from using some parts of the Vale and restricting their use of others.

The consultation explained that fines of up to £1,000 could be given to dog walkers if they broke the rules of the proposed new public spaces protection orders.

The consultation led to some alarm in the community with an online petition quickly gaining more than 2,300 signatures from people concerned about the plans.

Some online groups said they were planning protests.

Many dog owners believed the plans represented a strict clampdown on where they would be able to walk their dogs, with or without leads.

Reacting to the draft proposals Vale resident Suzanne Cribbs said she was going to sound people out for a big dog parade in protest.

She said that after hearing the plans she visited her local park where “it was all anyone could talk about.”

she added that the initial survey, posted on the Vale council website, did not seem adequate for allowing her to record her objections.

She said: “I decided to create a group and get people involved in raising awareness of the proposal and to find a better way to record our objections and concerns.”

Following the backlash, the local authority has pulled the planned two-month consultation from its original start date of June 20 and will go back to the drawing board to ensure their intentions are clear.

Miles Punter, the Vale council’s director of environment and housing, said: “We initially sent out the notice relating to current dog restrictions in public spaces as part of proposals to consider the implementation of Public Space Protection Orders to replace the existing bylaws.

“This notice, including maps, was sent to key stakeholders for comments in preparation for starting the consultation on June 20.

“After some confusion surrounding proposals, with some wrongly believing the council was proposing a wide-ranging ban on dogs in these areas, the consultation on this issue has been postponed for seven days.

“This is to ensure comments received from stakeholders are given proper consideration before the final draft of the consultation is released.”