The Portfolio Holder for Waste Management and Environmental Health presented the report to consider the findings of the Review Group on the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control. He thanked Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Review Group for their work on this.
He commented that with regards to recommendation four from Overview & Scrutiny regarding licensing individual dog walkers and that all dogs should have a license, the proposal was that the Review Group should look to further investigate how this would operate and the costs involved and report back to Executive in due course.
Members welcomed the measures to engage with irresponsible dog owners and that Town and Parishes should be encouraged to put up signage to reiterate the regulations of the PSPO.
The recommendation was proposed by Portfolio Holder for Waste Management and Environmental Health and seconded by Portfolio Holder for Communities & IT.
RESOLVED that the following be approved:-
(1) In relation to the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Responsible Dog Ownership under ss59 to 75 of the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014, the number of dogs that any one person can walk at any one time remain at 6, as agreed by Council on 14/1/19 Justification There is insufficient evidence to reduce this number to less than 6.
(2) The seasonal dog exclusion areas on beaches remain as 1 April to 30 September, as agreed by Executive on 4 December 2018.
Justification: There is no evidence to suggest the date should be altered to 1 May; there are plenty of beaches that can be used all year round; and the restrictions relate to an area of most beaches but not all of them.
(3) The use of body cameras by Community Enforcement Wardens is not progressed.
Justification There is no evidence to suggest that body cameras would be beneficial. No member of staff has requested a body camera, they all have work mobiles with the capability to record footage, the additional expense cannot be justified and it would be better allocated towards publicity campaigns.
(4) In response to the DEFRA Animal Welfare Regulations consultation, the Council respond by suggesting that dog walking individuals who are walking other peoples’ dogs (by collecting the dogs from their owners house and returning them) either voluntarily or for a fee should be licensed.
Justification, Individuals who do not have a residence based business such as those who provide a dog walking service only should be licensed. District Councils currently administer animal welfare licences, and fees are retained by these Councils.
The review group also considered that an option was that all dogs should require a licence. This would be a new control.
It was considered that there was merit in all dogs being licenced. It was noted that all dogs were required to be microchipped and it was considered that while dogs were being microchipped they could be licensed. The suggested increased licensing administration could also be undertaken by District Councils.
These matters required further consideration by the Review Group.
(5) Insurance Regulations are the responsibility of businesses to ensure they are adequately insurance for their business, and this issue be included in the issues to be reviewed by the Group in its 12 month review.
(6) The Council undertake a publicity campaign to encourage members of the public, Town and Parish Councils to engage with offending and irresponsible dog owners, and assist the Council in upholding the regulations of the Public Safety Protection Order.
(7) The Review Group continue to undertake a review of the PSPO following 12 months of its implementation as set out in the Group’s terms of reference.