Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Connor Hall Scrutiny Adviser
Declarations of Interest
The Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Joanne Gossage – Service
Manager Environment and Leisure
The Service Manager Environment
and Leisure thanked committee for reading the report and hearing
the presentation. Prior to 2015 dog control orders were usually
site-specific and there were also considerations made when creating
these orders regarding the protection of wildlife and protection of
livestock. These orders were combined with bylaws relating to
formal parks, open space areas and commons etc.
The Service Manager told
committee that all previous orders were repealed by the Anti-Social
Criminal Behaviour Act and accumulated into one order and noted
that this PSPO should be beneficial for all members of the
community – dog owners and the wider public alike.
The Service Manager felt it was
crucial this report be put to committee and the motion put forward
to go to wider consultation as it would ensure that everyone has a
change to input as it is an emotive subject.
The Service Manager Environment
and Leisure explained that the proposals with the report could be
categorised as two restrictive proposals and two general proposals.
She explained that the restrictive proposals called for the total
exclusion of dogs within play areas (with the
exception of assistance dogs) and secondly, that dogs must
be kept on leads in certain circumstances such as in
graveyards/cemeteries and areas where there are other interests to
be considered, such as wildlife preserves. The Service Manager
Environment and Leisure explained that the two general proposals
applied across all Newport City Council undermanaged sites with the
first being the removal of faeces from land, not just including
open spaces but also public highway verges and access routes to
open spaces, stating that they must also have the means to remove
faeces on their person. Secondly, the Service Manager Environment
and Leisure explained that the proposal instructed dog owners that
dogs must be leashed when instructed to by relevant enforcers to
ensure control of the pet.
The Service Manager Environment
and Leisure expanded to note that one of the exclusion measures
would be seasonal exclusions; during playing season for sports
pitches, it was proposed to exclude dogs from those areas. She
explained that it would not exclude dogs from a whole park or open
space where these pitches may be, that it would only restrict the
dog from being allowed onto the marked pitches.
The Service Manager Environment and Leisure presented the example of Lysaghts Park which presented examples of three measures – the complete exclusion of dogs from the on-site play area, the seasonal exclusion of dogs from the marked sports pitches and the inclusive area for properly controlled dogs. She felt that it evidenced the wish to not totally exclude dogs from spaces, just to clarify ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
– Head of Law and Regulation
The Regulatory Services Manager thanked the committee for accommodating the movement of agenda items. He explained that the report presented asks for a continuation for the PSPO in place. He reminded committee that the PSPO expires on 23 August 2021 and this report still seeks to consult on the continued need of a PSPO and on whether the restrictions of the City PSPO are still relevant.
The City PSPO is a local order made by local authority and is an additional tool not only tool to combat the issues set out in the report; he advised that partners across the service board have various other processes that are also used.
The Regulatory Services Manager advised the committee that they could opt to renew without consultation but that public should be consulted before doing so. He stated the option to renew with same restrictions, to renew with added, varied or amended restrictions, or that committee may decide that there is no continued need for the City Centre PSPO and discharge it.
The Regulatory Services Manager noted that the Pillgwenlly PSPO was recently renewed and says that the “lessons learned” during that have been taken on board in relation to the current PSPO at hand. He recommended that consultation takes place over one month through August 2021, and noted the pre-meeting suggestion that business owners be included in the public consultation.
The Regulatory Services Manager said that PSPOs form a foundation for other work within an area and has been cited in processes used for wider anti-social issues.
The Chair then opens the floor for questions.
· The committee thanked the Regulatory Services Manager for his presentation and thanked him for inclusion business districts in the consultation. The committee member went on to question the numbers of incidents presented in appendix 2, specifically the anomaly of 25 in 2020 and queried whether the anomaly was related to or caused by Covid-19. The committee member acknowledged the effectiveness of the PSPO in and of itself but acknowledged also that when the numbers drop, it potentially has previously served to be effective as it was. The committee member went on to expand and ask specifically what happened in 2020 for the large increase in numbers and is there a potential that the pandemic has skewed numbers?
The Regulatory Services Manager responded to say he didn’t know of any specific reason, but notes that from February 2020 onward as restrictions came into place, there was a trend of numbers lessening. He explained that the PSPO first came into place in 2018 and saw a phasing in period, during which they sought to advise and engage before enforcing any complaints council received. He advised it was likely lower due to COVID. The Regulatory Services Manager added that it is a reactionary order and that may be a cause for the ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Conclusion of Committee Reports
Committee noted that they were happy with content
currently with contained with the PSPO’s but would like to
see bikes and scooters included, as well as wanting to ask question
on blanket begging ban, and inviting businesses to be included in
the consultation. The committee member asked the Scrutiny Adviser
to confirm that these are the main matters which have arisen. The
Scrutiny Adviser confirmed these and added the concern raised due
to the lapse in PSPO from August to October.
· Committee enquired whether a hotline reporting for anti-social behaviour could be implemented to ensure ease for members of the public. The Scrutiny Adviser assured the committee that the contact centre can be contacted to report any issues. The committee member reiterated the desire for a hotline to be implemented.
· Committee noted that the Parks PSPO was poorly drafted and would like a further draft to rectify errors.
· Committee noted that they wished to have been provided with the reports in a timelier manner.
· Committee noted that they would like consultations advertised via social media frequently.
· Committee requested that the hours of work for the park rangers be made public.
a) Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 1)
b) Action Sheet (Appendix 2)
· Forward work plan – Scrutiny Adviser noted no changes going forward and PSPO would likely come back to committee around the 23rd September with the appropriate ward councillor(s) and Cabinet Members to be invited.