CONSULTATION on the proposed Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) will now begin in January for longer than first thought — with clarification of the final orders not published until then.

The Isle of Wight Council has clarified its position on the PSPOs following recent events to say the orders it is replacing are no longer enforceable due to a change in the law.

The Dog Control Orders, including exclusion zones, dogs on leads and fouling, as well as alcohol orders will be covered by the new PSPOs.

The council say it will undertake an eight-week public consultation to confirm the existing arrangements, seeking residents’ views, following consultation carried out last year with town and parish councils and other key stakeholders.

Cllr John Hobart, cabinet member for environment and heritage, said: “Many of the rules which have been in place for the past ten years will remain unchanged under the new PSPOs.

"Any changes have been suggested following comments received from town and parish councils, landowners and other key stakeholders as well as members of the public and sports clubs.

“For example, it has been suggested dogs should be kept on leads in some of our recreation grounds where there are sports pitches and children’s play areas — this follows comments received from members of the public and sports clubs.

“I have also seen reports that we are banning dogs from Ventnor Park — again, this is inaccurate. Under the proposed PSPO, the status quo would remain with dogs free to exercise off the lead in the upper park area but must be kept on a lead in the lower park area.”

Councillor Dave Stewart, council leader and cabinet member for community safety and public protection — following the resignation of Tig Outlaw — said: “At this stage the council was only ever looking to consult with the community about the draft proposals and there was never any intention to make a final decision until everyone has had the opportunity to have their say.

“The full details of the existing, amended and the few new orders, will be made clear as part of any consultation in the new year and I can assure residents that all comments will be carefully considered before the council makes its final decisions.

“We understand this is a sensitive issue and we need to strike the right balance. The intention is not to stop people walking their dog on the beach or from enjoying a drink as part of a picnic.

"We are responding to a legislation change which is designed to ensure public safety, help tackle anti-social behaviour and give local authorities the power to act when it is necessary.”