CONTROVERSIAL plans to bar people walking their dogs in cemeteries and restricting times horses can be ridden on the beaches have been put under the microscope by members of Ryde Town Council.

In a letter from the Isle of Wight Council, the new proposals could see dogs barred from cemetery grounds unless their owners were visiting graves or they were guide dogs. The new rules are aimed at tackling dog fouling.

Horse riding could also be banned between 10am and 6pm on the town's beaches.

However, At their meeting on Monday (November 5), Cllr Jim Moody told members that preventing dog owners from walking their pets in sacred grounds would be 'a blow' for them.

He said: "Just because some dog owners fail in their duty to clean-up after their pets is no reason to collectively punish all dog owners who use the cemetery."

Cllr Julian Critchley added that seeing horses riding on the beach was a 'beautiful sight'.

Cllr Michael Lilley told members that there were around 50,000 dogs on the Island and that the IW's tourism industry said that the IW was 'dog friendly', although there was not a dog strategy in place.

He said: "We do need to have a policy."

Cllr Tim Wakeley said that horses being able to run on the beach was a major selling point for stables on the Island trying to encourage tourists.

He said: "This is a blunt instrument."

Members agreed that the council needed to consult with members of the public about the proposals and they should then be discussed at the planning committee.

Cllr Wakeley added: "We need to make sure it is applicable and enforceable."

A formal consultation on the proposed new orders will take place early next year.