ROTHER CABINET 04/02/08

CB07/141.     CLEAN NEIGHBOURHOODS AND ENVIRONMENT ACT 2005
(7.2)                DOG CONTROL ORDER – EXCLUSION OF DOGS

Consideration was given to the report of the Director of Services on the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 Dog Control Order- Exclusion of Dogs.  The report recommended that an order was made that excluded dogs from certain areas and was based on the existing byelaws, the views expressed by the public from consultation that took place in 2007 and a recommendation from Sedlescombe Parish Council.  It was agreed that the wording and exact area in respect of the proposed Order that would apply to Camber Beach be agreed in consultation with the local Ward Member for Rye, Councillor Russell, and that following implementation, clear signage for visitors be provided. 

At present there were a number of byelaws in the District but these were unenforceable by prosecution and could not be enforced by fixed penalty notices.  However, contraventions of a Dog Control Order could result in a fine of up to £1000 per offence or a fixed penalty notice of £75.   Cabinet was disappointed to note that the Chief Constable of Sussex Police had yet to determine whether Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) would be authorised to issue fixed penalty notices under the Order and add credibility to the enforcement of the Orders.  The Head of Environmental Health agreed to pursue this matter further and seek the assistance from Sussex Police in the enforcement of the proposed Orders.  It was noted however that between 10 and 15 members of staff within the environmental health, coastal control staff and other Officers in the amenities division would also be authorised to take enforcement action under the Orders.  

The proposed Order was mainly different from the existing byelaws as it changed the existing two dog free areas on Bexhill beach to one area that was east of Brockley Road and west of Sea Road. The Order also included Red Barn Field Nature Park in Sedlescombe, Hastings Cemetery (the part in Rother so that it was brought into line with the rest of the cemetery that was under an Order from Hastings Borough Council) and the playing fields of educational establishments.

It was noted that members of the public had 28 days in which to respond to the proposed Order and that any objections received would be brought back to Cabinet for consideration before any final decision to proceed was made.

RESOLVED: That the Head of Corporate Resources be authorised to: take all necessary steps to make a Dog Control Order to exclude dogs from certain areas (as set out in appendix A to the report), including advertising the Order; and if no representations are received, to proceed to make the appropriate Order and otherwise to report representations to a future meeting and to give notice of the making of the Order in accordance with The Dog Control Order (Procedures) Regulations 2006.