Agenda item

Call-In Stage 2 - Public Space Protection Order (Coventry Dog Control)

The following matter is reported to Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee, in accordance with Part 3E 1.2 of the City Council’s Constitution, it being responsible for the overall co-ordination of the Overview and Scrutiny function and related responsibilities.


Consideration of Decision Called-in to Scrutiny – Call-in Stage 2


Call-in Stage 1 - In accordance with the criteria decided by the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee and the procedure rules set out in Part 3E 17.4 of the City Council’s Constitution, the appropriateness of the Call-in indicated was considered by the Chair of Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee, in conjunction with Christine Forde, Assistant Director, Legal and Democratic Services.


Call-in Stage 2 – The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee will consider the valid part of the Call-in. In accordance with the Scrutiny Procedure Rules at least one of the three Elected Members that called the matter in must be in attendance at the meeting for the consideration of the Call-in or the Call-in will fail.


Full details of the Cabinet decision, the reasons for call-in and the determination are detailed in pages 9 - 12


Public Space Protection Order (Coventry Dog Control) -


Cabinet – 6th January, 2015


Cabinet Member – Councillor Townshend


Officer: Craig Hickin


Report of the Executive Director for People


Called in by: Councillors Bailey, Skinner and Taylor


The recommendations approved by Cabinet on 6th January, 2015 are attached


The Chair, Councillor Skipper reported that at their meeting on 6th January, 2015 Cabinet approved proposals about the creation of a City-wide Public Space Protection Order for the control of dogs. This decision was subsequently called-in by Councillors Taylor, Bailey and Skinner. Councillor Skipper informed that having considered the appropriateness of the call-in, he had accepted the part of the call-in relating to puppy walkers, assistance dogs and dogs in training and rejected the other parts of the call-in. Councillors Bailey and Skinner attended the meeting for the consideration of this item, Councillor Taylor was already present, being a member of the Committee, and they reported on the call-in. Councillor Townshend also attended in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities and he addressed the Committee.


The Committee considered the decisions made by Cabinet on 6th January; the reasons for the call-in; and the determination. The Committee also considered a briefing note of the Executive Director for Place which detailed material facts relating to the specific reasons for the call-in.

There were two parts to the valid call-in, that there was inadequate clarification in relation to ‘puppy walkers’ and whilst there were exceptions for the blind/disabled owners, there was no reference to assistance dogs or dogs- in-training. The Committee were informed that there was no reference to puppy walkers in the Order.  The training of puppy or an older dog, with a view to being an ‘assistance dog’, was not exempt from the Order whilst in training. Consequently, if a dog was being trained the person performing the training would be responsible for ensuring that the Order wasn’t breached. The ‘Order’ only gave exemptions to individuals who were specified in the General Point 1.

The officer explained that there did not appear to be a legal definition of the term ‘assistance dog’. Although in a Government document, which related to proposed amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, ‘assistance dogs’ were referred to as ‘a dog which has been accredited to assist a disabled person by a prescribed charity or organisation’.

It was considered that the paragraphs under the General Point 1 (b), together with point 1(a) which referred to persons with sight conditions, adequately covered all possible types of ‘assistance dogs’. Paragraph 1(c) (i-iv) covered the existing ‘prescribed charities’ and paragraph 1(c)(iv) covered the creation of further new and relevant ‘prescribed charities’ in the future.


Members questioned the Councillors responsible for the call-in, the Cabinet Member and the officer and responses were provided, matters raised included:


·  The proposals for future engagement with interested members of the public including friends of parks groups and dog owners

·  The potential to include additional areas in the Order

·  The reasoning behind the introduction of the Order

·  Clarification about which dogs the call-in was intended to refer to

·  Clarification about the numbers of dogs on leads being walked by an individual

·  The suggestion that implementation of the Order should be deferred until the Cabinet Consultative Committee had met.


The Committee were reminded that, in response to a significant response from members of the public, Cabinet had made changes to the recommendations. 


RESOLVED that the Committee concur with the decisions of Cabinet, rejecting the valid part of the Call-in.

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