Back in September 2018, the Independent Green councillor for Ryde East, Cllr Michael Lilley proposed a motion to make the Isle of Wight a “dog friendly Island” by adopting Hampshire County Council’s Canine Countryside Strategy, which promotes responsible dog ownership.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Julie Jones-Evans (Ind) was debated in the full council meeting, but fell after 22 councillors voted against it, with only 13 in favour.
Cllr Lilley said that during the meeting many of the Conservative councillors laughed at him for bringing forward the motion, with one making an insulting ‘joke’ about ‘dogging’.
Outlaw: “More signs won’t make a difference”
Cllr Tig Outlaw (Con), who is the Cabinet member due to make the delegated decision on the latest plans to ban dogs from cemeteries and to be on a lead in several parks, had said last year that he would vote against Cllr Lilley’s motion.
He said there were already signs in the streets and whilst “majority of dog owners are responsible, more signs won’t make difference”.
Abraham: Not enough people to enforce it
Cllr Barry Abraham (Con) also said he wouldn’t support the motion, because they “already have signs”.
He went on to say there were not enough people within council to enforce the strategy and that it was easy trying to bounce the council into spending more money without thinking about it.
Unlike his Conservative colleagues, Cllr Ian Ward (Con) had said that although he’s not a dog person he would support the motion, adding that “maybe a softer and more friendly approach will be more effective than the signage”.
The motion that fell
The motion read:
THAT the IW Council resolves in principle to make Isle of Wight a dog (with a responsible owner) friendly Island by adopting the Hampshire County Council’s Canine Countryside Strategy which promotes responsible dog owners and makes the Island sea and landscape a place for everyone to enjoy and recommends that Cabinet investigate the introduction of such a strategy.