Agenda and draft minutes

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

2.

Open Public Forum

Minutes:

No members of the public were present.

 

3.

Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Controls pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To scrutinise proposals to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order for dog controls in Monmouthshire in relation to dog fouling, designating exclusion areas and specifying ‘dogs on leads areas’.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Huw Owen, Principal Environmental Health Officer and David Owens, Head of Public Protection presented their recommendations. A four-stage process towards introducing a Public Spaces Protection order for dog controls is proposed. First, public consultation would take place to gather opinions about potentially introducing Public Spaces Protection orders for dog controls. That process will take three months. The second stage would be to draft a Public Space Protection order which will be informed by the consultation, and be ready before the summer recess in July. The third stage would be to put the draft back out to public consultation. Finally, pre-decision scrutiny would take place before putting the matter to final Cabinet approval by the end of the year. Dog fouling is included under the term ‘litter’, and is therefore subject to the goal of improving flytipping and litter in the Corporate Plan.

Challenge:

Rather than dog fouling measures only being enforceable by the Council in MCC areas, is it not also a social matter that can be enforced on the streets as well?

Public Space Protection orders can only cover public spaces, defined as any place to which the public has access (paid or otherwise) – so it could cover, for example, a shopping centre. It can also cover land in private ownership which is accessed by the public. King George V playing fields could come under the description, as it is administered by trustees of the council. Part of the consultation will include asking whether additional controls in fouling are needed, whether there should be exemption areas, etc.

How can these measures realistically be enforced, and fines issued?

As things stand, enforcement is carried out by officers in Environmental Health and the Waste and Street services. In addition, Police Community Support officers are authorised to issue a fixed penalty notice when they witness an offence. Between 2008-12 there were two officers who proactively patrolled to see if they could catch offenders in the act of not picking up after their dog, but this wasn’t cost-effective. We are therefore not proposing additional staff for enforcement, but there should be as many authorised officers as possible across the services who can act if they see an offence; parking officers would be good candidates for increased authorisation in this regard, as they are in a position to possibly witness offences taking place. If the consultation results in a clearer delineation between where dogs can and can’t go, some of the problem would be addressed pre-emptively. We have had experience of members of the public feeling so strongly that they have approached the team and been willing to provide witness statements.

Regarding leads, what are the boundaries for expecting to manage the behaviour of dogs?

This will be a trickier part of the consultation. Additional authorisation could again come in here: for example, if a police officer sees a dog running free in a children’s play area, they could tell the owner to put the dog on a lead.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

To confirm minutes of the previous meeting

·         23rd January 2020

·         24th February 2020 (Special)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meetings held on 23rd January and 24th February 2020 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.

 

5.

Strong Communities Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Minutes:

There have been requests to scrutinise car parking proposals, starting with a member workshop on 30th March in which we will initially present the context for the subject. This will be held jointly with the Economy and Development Select committee, but all members are invited. This will be followed by a call for evidence in which views will be sought from the Chamber of Commerce, town and community councils, cluster areas and organisations such as Team Abergavenny. We would like to then call a special Select Committee in which those organisations can present their views, including submitting questions to the members ahead of time. The next stage will be for the Consultants Capita to produce a set of proposals for the committee to consider based on the consultations feedback and members’ initial discussions. The proposals will be brought back to the committee once there is a draft paper.

On 27th April there will be a workshop on County Lines, following on from the scrutiny of modern day slavery.

 

6.

Cabinet and Council Forward Work programme pdf icon PDF 335 KB

7.

To agree date and time of next meeting as 23rd April 2020 at 10.00am.