DOG owners could be made to keep their pets on a lead under new measures set to be introduced by a town council.

Canvey Town Council is looking to get tough with irresponsible owners, after residents raised concerns about dangerous dogs.

The authority is hoping a new warden could enforce tough control orders, ensuring dogs are kept under control in public places and making sure owners tidy up after their animals.

The council has set aside £25,000 to pay for the part-time warden, as well as install signs reminding owners of their obligations.

However, council leader Nick Harvey was keen to stress he was not anti-dog owners.

He said: “We don’t want to turn this into a Southend-type scenario, where everyone was up in arms about having nowhere to walk their dogs. What we do want is to stop things like people walking down the seafront with six or seven dogs they can’t possibly control.

“Or the person who lets their dog swim in the children’s paddling pool, that’s simply not acceptable.”

The council plans to advertise for a part-time dog warden, who will patrol the seafront and Canvey Lake on a seasonal basis.

It also plans to apply to Castle Point Council for the power to dish out dog control orders.

These would allow the council to ban dogs from certain areas or force owners to keep their animals on a lead. On-the-spot fines of £75 could be issued and owners who refuse to pay could face penalties of up to £1,000.

The plans were revealed after residents criticised the council for not taking a tougher line with dogs at the authority’s annual meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Lea Swann, who owns the Concorde Cafe on Canvey seafront, said she had witnessed several dog-on-dog attacks in recent months.

She said: “I have personally seen three very upsetting attacks and I have heard about many more.

“The police say there is nothing they can do because no crime has been committed, but when an alsatian rips the throat of a little Yorkshire terrier and no action is taken, it doesn’t seem right.”

Residents also pressed the council to do more to clean up dogs’ mess.

The authority pays for a dog fouling machine to clear up the mess, but residents said it was out of action.

The council plans to investigate.