Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 7:00 pm
Venue: Terrace Room - York House. View directions
Contact: Gary Lelliott; 020 8891 7275; Email: email@example.com
Note: Rescheduled from 22 May
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor Bond, Councillor Miller and Councillor Jones who sent Councillor Roberts as a substitute.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2011 attached.
The minutes of the meeting on 18 October 2012 were agreed and the Chairman authorised to sign them.
[The Chairman announced that the agenda items would be heard in the following order: Items 6, 7, 4 and 5.]
This report considers the consultation results in relation to the proposed implementation of a new byelaw to control mooring on Council owned or managed land with a frontage on the River Thames.
The Head of Parks and Open Spaces introduced the report. The Council had carried out consultation for the proposed byelaw and engaged key stakeholders. Overall 77 individual written responses were received; 74% (57 people) were in favour of the byelaw as it was proposed, 9% (7 people) suggested amendments in the wording and 17% (13 people) who were opposed to the byelaw. He emphasised that 9 of the responses had been from residents associations.
The Committee requested the 9 resident associations’ names and the number of people who had signed jointly for each.
[Update: The following residents associations responded with the following numbers of signatories:
Riverside and Beech Court Owners Ass – 75; Trowlock Island Ltd – 93; Hampton Riverside Trust – 100 (now the Molesey and Hampton Riverside Trust); Broom Water Association – 110; Tamesis Club – 275; Kingston Rowing Club – 300; The Teddington Society - 1,000; Thames Angling Conservancy - 1,400; Lensbury - 9,200.]
Michael Pemberton addressed the Committee: He was concerned that there had been no mention of community groups’ responses to the consultation. In his opinion, this was misleading. Mr Pemberton felt that Richmond was seen as a soft touch for mooring offenders, which had lead to an increase in incidents of illegal mooring.
Councillor Mathias addressed the Committee: She represented residents from Hampton Wick Ward. There had been high volumes of residents who had petitioned regarding the ongoing mooring problems in the borough. She was disappointed that residents’ associations had not been notified of the committee meeting. There had been several arrests of moorers in the borough for charges including counterfeit passports and drug dealing. She had heard reports of moorers’ dogs attacking birds and of generator noise throughout the night disturbing residents.
Councillor Mathias made the following points in response to questions from members of the Committee:
Previously enforcement against criminal activity from illegal moorers had been difficult to enforce. Having a byelaw would help to maintain the borough’s riverside.
Councillor Nicholson addressed the Committee: She was a member of the Hampton Riverside Trust and RUG 8. Hampton residents were fed-up with illegal mooring. There had been incidents of intimidation and vandalism including illegal moorers’ dogs destroying trees on village greens. There had also been reports of illegal moorers crowding the riverside paths with their possessions. This had lead to resentment from some borough residents.
The Head of Parks and Open Spaces and responded to the issues raised:
He agreed that residents associations should have been included in the consultation summary.
Recent increases in illegal mooring could be attributed to neighbouring boroughs – including Reading and Spelthorne – who had introduced enforcement measures, which had encouraged moorers to come to Richmond.
It was currently difficult for the Council to carry out enforcement action against illegal moorers, as the options available were costly and time consuming.
The proposed byelaw would allow for criminal prosecution against those mooring illegally, including penalty notices. Summons could be issued very quickly and hearings held twice a month.
If the Council approved the recommendations it was likely to be another year, at most, before the byelaw came into effect.
The Council aimed to provide 24 hour mooring for legitimate visitors to the borough.
It was RESOLVED that: authority be delegated to officers to proceed to make a byelaw restricting the mooring of boats on Council owned and managed land with a frontage on the River Thames, with the following recommendation:
· That the relevant Cabinet Member ensure the Council use all powers currently at their disposal to encourage illegal moorers to move on, including clearing their possessions from the towpath.
This report considers the consultation results in relation to the proposed implementation of a new Dog Control Order to restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person on Council owned or managed land.
The Head of Parks and Open Spaces introduced the report. The Council had carried out consultation on dog control related issues in 2006, which had included a proposal to introduce a limit on the number of dogs that could be walked at one time by one person. However, the feedback received was negative and it was agreed that the situation should be monitored. At the Regulatory meeting on 10 May 2011 the Committee agreed to set a limit of four dogs per walker. Subsequent consultation, carried out between 16 March and 12 April 2012, showed that 53% of respondents felt that some regulation was required, but that a balance needed to be struck. The decision had been referred back to the Committee, by the Cabinet Member, due to public interest. Two petitions had been received that both asked for the limit to be set at 6 dogs per individual.
Lucy Bonnett addressed the Committee: She was a professional dog walker and founder of the Association of Professional Dog Walkers (APDW). She said that a limit of four dogs would affect professional dog walkers salaries and prices would increase to compensate. Dog walking was her full time career and she was dependent upon the income it generated. Ms Bonnett recognised the need to impose a limit, but urged the Committee to opt for a limit of six dogs per walker; as recommended by the Kennel Club. In her opinion, a limit of four would displace dishonest dog walkers, rather than stop them offending. She highlighted the importance of educating professional dog walkers and promoting positive, responsible walking; which were all things that the APDW could help improve.
Lucy Bonnett made the following points in response to questions from members of the Committee:
She never let all her dogs off their leads at once; she always kept one or two dogs on their leads. As a safety precaution, she avoided walking dogs areas where children were likely to be. As a responsible dog walker, she always correctly disposed of dog waste. These were all things that a good dog walker should be doing and things that the APDW could help to promote.
Marie-Joelle Jeudy addressed the Committee: She had been a professional dog walker for ten years. She had lived in Richmond previously and built up a strong client base in the borough. In her opinion, a maximum of six dogs should be allowed to be walked by one person. As a conscientious dog walker, she refused to walk badly behaved dogs and regularly fed-back to owners on their dog’s behaviour; this helped to ensure her dogs didn’t cause a public nuisance.
Christabel Moseley addressed the Committee: She had been a veterinary surgeon in the borough for twelve years. There was a small window of opportunity for professional dog walkers to complete their work: when the owners were at work, in the middle of the day. Restricting the number of dogs an individual could walk to four would greatly impact on their ability to do their job. She was in support of the APDW and said they could encourage professional dog walkers to assess dogs for behavioural traits before accepting them.
In response to a question from the Committee, Christabel Moseley said the APDW had produced a code of conduct, which would include abiding by the agreed number of dogs an individual could walk.
The Head of Parks and Open Spaces made the following points in response to the Committee’s inquiries:
A limit of six dogs, per individual, was supported by DEFRA, the Kennel Club and six was the maximum number of dogs insurers offered cover for.
Eight London authorities including Elmbridge, Hounslow and Fulham had set a limit of four dogs per person. Wandsworth had set a maximum of eight dogs, but only with a licence.
A restriction would help to alleviate parents’ worries that their children were unsafe around dogs in open spaces.
In his opinion the APDW’s code of conduct would help to represent dog walkers in a favourable light.
It was not possible to stipulate the size or breed of dog that walkers could be responsible for, only the number of dogs.
The Council was very keen to work with the APDW. There was a possibility that a licensing scheme could be introduced that would ensure dog walkers became members of the APDW and carry identification badges with them. However it would be less time consuming and cost efficient to simply count the number of dogs a walker was in charge of than ask for them to produce identification.
It was anticipated that hot spots for offending could be targeted by the Council’s four Parks Patrol Officers. In 2013 the Council hoped to appoint a dedicated Animal Warden to enforce the byelaw.
Initially a soft enforcement technique would be used while public knowledge of the byelaw was promoted, hopefully with the support of the APDW. Enforcement would be a gradual process where officers would build up evidence of misconduct; they would then request PCSO support when confronting offenders.
It was AGREED: to approve the making of a Dog Control Order under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to restrict the number of dogs walked by one individual, on Council owned or managed land, to 6.
This report seeks the committee’s views on the Make Report 2011 which was undertaken by Make Associates to measure the cumulative impact on Richmond and Twickenham town centres.
The Licensing Team Leader introduced the report. Make had been commissioned to undertake a survey of the borough’s town centres. Although it was no longer necessary for the Council to seek evidence of this nature to implement a Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) he recommended that the report be accepted and it be published along side the Licensing Policy, online.
Peter Willan addressed the Committee: He was happy with Richmond’s CIP and believed that the Make Report demonstrated the need for the CIP as it evidenced low level antisocial behaviour in the borough’s town centres. In particular, he was concerned about the following areas: Richmond Circus, Petersham Road and Richmond Bridge.
Peter Willan made the following points in response to questions from members of the Committee:
Although footfall in the borough had decreased by 30% in recent years, the Make Report showed that anti-social behaviour had stayed at similar level. This could lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour if footfall increased.
It was RESOLVED that: The Make Report should be published, with the Council’s Licensing Policy, to reinforce the cumulative impact policies, currently operating in Richmond and Twickenham town centres.
This report seeks to update the Council’s Licensing Policy and remind members of recent and important amendments made to the Licensing Act 2003 by the Police Reform & Social Responsibilities Act 201.
The Licensing Team Leader introduced the report. The Council’s Licensing Policy had to be amended due to changes to the Licensing Act 2003. Changes to the Licensing Act, along with an updated version of the Guidance came into force on 25 April 2012, but further amendments were expected to be commenced by October 2012.
In response to a question from Committee, the Licensing Team Leader said the Committee were being asked the note the changes to the Policy and Guidance. The changes were dictated to Local Government by Central Government.
It was RESOLVED that: the Committee noted the legislative changes to the Licensing Act 2003 and subsequent amendments to the Council’s Licensing Policy. Committee recommended these changes be adopted by full Council when the revised Licensing Policy is put before them for due consideration.