Community Select Committee – October 2012

Last Monday (8th October) saw a meeting of the council’s Community select committee, in Glossop’s Municipal Buildings.

Although not originally first on the agenda, the meeting was quite well attended by members of the public with a particular interest in the item on Dog Control Order’s, so the agenda was tweaked to get that item resolved first.

My introduction to the item, is as below :

“Members will recall that these proposals were initially presented to community select at it’s July meeting, and following cross party support for the proposals as originally presented would only be returning to Community Select for consideration of any additional areas to be added to the dogs on leads order.

However following consideration and approval by the executive of the recommendations from community select, a number of issues which weren’t raised or considered by the committee were raised specifically around the introduction of the dogs on a lead orders and mainly in relation to Manor Park and Pavilion Garden’s.

In responding to the concerns raised it has been identified that the reporting / logging of issues around dogs has been inconsistent and varied from service to service – with parts of the council advising that issues should be reported to the police.

A lot of comments have been made around dog fouling and how well or otherwise the dogs on leads order would tackle the issue – however that is just one element of the order and other incidents within our parks that order could address have been logged and these are detailed within 7.6 to 7.13 of the report.

In addition for information purposes only – a response from the survey that has been completed by the Manor Park Forum group is included and members will also have received a copy of a report from the Good Glossop Dogs Group.

In making an order the council needs to consider a number of questions as outlined at 7.15 and members may agree as noted at 7.16 that we are not there at this time.

From our previous meeting – issues over Shirebrook Play Area were raised and this is address at 7.17

Members will also recall that a request was made for members to advise of other areas to be considered for the dogs on leads element – however no request were received for this – however our parks service and Whaley Bridge have made a request with regards to football pitches and the dog exclusion order and members are asked to comment accordingly.”

A long debate followed with most of the committee speaking, many at pains to point out that they weren’t in favour of the ‘dogs on leads’ element of the Dog Control Orders in the first place, many just to comment on how / where they take their own dogs.

The one additional element that wasn’t part of the first discussion on ‘dog control orders’ was around whether football pitches should be added to the consultation on the proposed ‘dog exclusion order’ a proposal which promoted a little discussion but no firm decision, and was eventually deleted from the proposals considered at the meeting.

After all the discussion was done it was agreed by all present for a combination of the following recommendations to go forward with regards to the ‘dogs on lead’ element of ‘dog control orders’ :

c.         Note the concerns raised so far with regards to Dogs on a Lead and the changes to reporting of incidents and recommend to the executive that no further action on the introduction of the Dogs on a Lead (High Peak Borough Council) Order 2011 and a review is held in 12 months’ time with regards to moving to consultation on the introduction of a Dogs on a Lead Order.

d.         Work with the recently formed good Glossop dogs and similar groups elsewhere in the borough to promote good dog ownership and address issues of joint concern around our parks.

Next up, once all the public had left (and possibly disappointingly so) was a presentation from the East Midlands Ambulance Service around their so called ‘being the best’ proposals which amongst other measurers seeks to close 66 existing ambulance stations across the East Midlands including ones in Buxton and New Mills and replace them with 13 super stations / hubs and 118 community ambulance posts.

The presentation from them, didn’t seem to present a strong case for the change – at least to the extent of closing the local ambulance stations and the questions from members of the committee around the table got weak if any answers, with in my view the representatives from the ambulance service not been convinced with the answers they were giving, they even detailed that there was no response from the North West Ambulance Service as to whether they supported the changes and a seeming lack of clarity as to when they were informed of the changes.

Although I expect the meeting could quite clearly have agreed to oppose the proposals, it was recommended and agreed that no response would be made to the consultation until following a public meeting on the issue which would take place in the Octagon on the 6th November.

Next up was a report on the health scrutiny sub committee, that has been running for a while looking into how some of the changes in legislation / operation will affect the High Peak and what the council needs to do to respond to those changes. After discussion it was decided to continue with the sub committee until at least April and review further in the future.

Then it was on to the council’s draft homelessness strategy which both seeks to review and update existing work that the council is doing in response to homelessness along with some of the possible implications of the various changes to legislation that the current government are making.

The strategy also puts forward an action plan to tackles some of these issues across the next few years some of which I’ll cover in further detail when it goes to the executive in the next few weeks.

Last up was a report around how the council establishes its policies in relation to two specific bits of the Localism act, the community right to challenge and the community right to bid, both of which present challenges and in both cases the potential of high cost’s to the council.

If you want to view the full papers for the meeting, click here