A total of 461 residents responded to Ramsey Commissioners’ consultation on updating the dog by-laws, which are due for renewal at the end of March.

On the big question of whether or not the by-laws should be altered to permit owners to walk dogs on leads on the main drive and paths around the Mooragh Park Lake, 254 respondents were in favour, 201 were against and six were undecided. After a long debate, the commissioners voted to maintain the status quo.

The members also agreed there should be no change with regard South Beach, where dogs are banned from the stretch of shore between the lifeboat slip and the south pier.

The RNLI had made a representation to the commissioners on this, asking for no change, as this area, which is above the high water line, is frequently used in lifeboat exercises and rescues.

The board did agree to one change: that the by-laws be extended that dogs be prohibited from the rugby pitch and surrounding grassed area, with the only exception being an area to the north of the pitch, where dogs can be exercised, but must not be allowed to use as a toilet. If a dog does foul in this area, the owner must clean it up.

The consultation exercise was promoted by deputy town clerk Steven Bevan who said there was a very strong view that there was very little in the way of enforcement of the dog by-laws.

’We will work with our warden to ensure the by-laws are enforced and take appropriate action in cases where they are not’, he promised.