St Ives councillors vote to ban dogs from bathing beaches
ST Ives councillors last night voted for a complete ban on dogs on the town's main bathing beaches during the summer months.
In a packed meeting councillors voted to do away with the current rules that allow dog walkers onto key bathing beaches before 8am and after 7pm in the summer.
From May next year dogs will be banned from Porthmeor, Porthminster and Porthgwidden beaches for the duration of the summer.
The new ban – proposed by St Ives Town Council's environment committee – was passed by ten votes to five despite a public consultation showing more than two thirds of respondents were against it.
Councillors voting for the ban said they had been clear from the start that the consultation was not a referendum, and that they had given weight to the strength of concerns raised rather than the number.
They said the consultation raised serious concerns about dog fouling and dog nuisance from members of the public and from the businesses that manage the beaches.
Councillors voting against said problems had only been raised once the consultation was launched and were still outweighed by the number of people opposing a ban.
Concerns have also been raised about the potential cost of enforcing a ban, although beach managers and businesses have offered to provide signage and to train their staff to support the ban.
Harbour Beach in St Ives is to remain available for dog walking before 8am and after 7pm, and Carbis Bay is to have an evening ban in the summer, but to be open to dogs between 5am and 8am.
Areas of beach at Lambeth Walk and Bamaluz will be kept open for dogs and councillors have voted to investigate removing boulders and renovating steps to make them more accessible.
A separate order has also been made for all dogs to be kept on a lead on the footpath to Porthkidney beach.
After the meeting St Ives resident Mark Noall, who spoke for the ban, said: "These are the premier bathing beaches in the country. Seasonal exclusions ensure they are going to be as clean and safe as possible."
Barbara Nolan of the St Ives Dog Owners Group said: "They didn't listen to the consultation. They've had a consultation and now they've ignored it."