Dogs will run free: part 2

images-2Fears that dogs will have to be kept on leads in local council-owned parks, Avondale and Holland Park, is upsetting many Notting Hill dog owners but RBKC says it is a misunderstanding. A protest petition was organised by Friends of Dogs in Parks, but the officer in charge of such decisions, Lyn Carpenter, executive director environment leisure and residents services, says: “We reiterate that nothing is changing. The council has no plans whatever to legislate for dog owners to put their dogs on leads in parks.”  Confusion started when an email sent from Hammersmith & Fulham’s Head of Operations & Community Safety called for dogs to be kept on leads ‘anywhere in the open air at any time.’ Carpenter says the council officer was referring not to parks but to dogs on public highways. “That was her view,” says Carpenter, “The council is not going to change legislation about dogs on highways either and there is no consultation planned.”

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  • DOGS WILL NOT RUN FREE! CORRECT UPDATE

    A recent article by Mary-Lu Bakker: ‘Dogs will run free: Part 2,’ attempts to assure anxious dog owners that the status quo regarding the areas in Holland Park where dogs can be exercised unleashed is to be maintained. In it she quotes Lyn Carpenter (Executive Environment Director RBKC) saying:

    ”We reiterate that nothing is changing. The council has no plans whatever to legislate for dog owners to put their dogs on leads in the parks”…

    Carpenter claims the ‘confusion’ started as a result of an email sent
    by Claire Rai (Head of Community Safety) to Sir Malcom Rifkind who asked for clarification in response to the concerns of a number of constituents.
    Carpenter notes in Rai’s e-mail she called for dogs to be kept on leads at
    all times ‘anywhere in the open air at any time’ but claims that Rai was
    referring not to parks but to dogs on public highways.

    This is clearly not true. In her e-mail to Sir Malcom, Rai quotes 4 regulations from the Environment Act 2005 Dog Control Orders and clearly concludes that:

    ‘Effectively, this means that all dogs are required to be kept on a lead at
    all times in Holland Park …

    “There is currently a proposal to amend the Dog Control Order with the even
    simpler designation that dogs must be kept on leads on:

    a) Any land within the administrative area of RBKC which is open to the
    air, including covered land which is open to the air on at least one side and
    to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access with or without
    payment.

    b) All public roads, adjoining footpaths and verges.’ …

    This amendment has been approved by Councillors and that public consultation
    will commence shortly’

    In Sir Malcolm’s reply to his constituents he refers to this e-mail stating:

    ‘It explains the regulations governing the leashing of dogs in the Royal
    Borough and notes that a consultation will soon open on forbidding dogs to be
    unleashed on any open air land administered by the council.’

    It seems clear that the public and the dog owners of the Borough in
    particular, are being deliberately misled by the mantra that ‘nothing will
    change’. We must remain very much on our guard!

    The Kennel Club Legal Aviser has looked at the Dog Control Orders 2005/07/13 and states that as they stand, dogs on leads can be legally enforced anywhere at any time.

    If you or your readers would like a copy of the original letters from the
    Council and from Sir Malcolm, or the letter to RBKC requesting the recommended amendments to the current Dog Control Orders from the Kennel Club legal advisor, please do email us at:

    [email protected]

    Do sign and share the petition on Change.Org asking for Dogs to have lead-free spaces in parks and for Dog Owners to be given a voice in all Park Strategy Consultations, especially the 2016 – 2026 Holland Park Master Plan:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/councillor-rock-feilding-mellen-give-dogs-off-lead-areas-in-parks-where-they-can-run-free-and-socialise-give-dog-owners-a-formal-voice-in-park-consultations-amend-dog-control-orders-2005-07-13-in-consultation-with-dog-owners?recruiter=32896693&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

    Please continue to write to RBKC Counicllors requesting the amendments to the Dog Control Orders and for Dog Owners to have a formal voice in all Park Strategy Consultations.

    Thank you

    Prof John Cosgrove
    Dr Jon Bowen – Veterinary Surgeon – Dog Behaviour Specialist
    Dr Richard Allport – Veterinary Surgeon – Complementary Medicine
    Dr Andrew Carmichael – Veterinary Surgeon – Holland Park
    Edward Buckhaven
    Nick Hopper
    Justin Keeling
    Gabrielle McCarthy
    Mei Lee
    Alex Brodie
    Julia Basirov
    Eric Chautroux

    FRIENDS OF DOGS IN PARKS

  • PLEASE WRITE TO RBKC COUNCILLORS REQUESTING THEY
 ADOPT LEGAL AMENDMENTS TO DOG CONTROL ORDERS 2007/13 AS RECOMMENDED BY KENNEL CLUB LEGAL ADVISOR, AND TO GIVE DOG OWNERS A VOICE IN PARK STRATEGY CONSULTATIONS.

    UNLESS AMENDED, THE CURRENT DOG BYE-LAWS CAN LEGALLY ENFORCE DOGS ON LEADS ANYWHERE, AT ANY TIME.

    THE LEGAL AMENDMENTS ARE BELOW; PLS WRITE IN TO SUPPORT THEM

    Thank you, Friends of Dogs in Parks, [email protected]



    Dear Councillor Rock Feilding-Mellon,



    As you are aware, our petitioned requests have been highlighted in the Change.Org
    Petition, which currently has almost 3000 signatures in little over a week (and
    increasing), in addition to the many letters received by the Council:

    “1. Give Dogs off-lead areas in parks where they can run free and socialise.
    2. Give Dogs Owners a formal Voice in Park Consultations.
    3. Amend Dog Control Orders 2005/07/13 in consultation with Dog Owners.”

    

In your email dated 19th March 2014, you wrote: 

”I appreciate there has been significant concern, and some confusion, regarding rules around dog walking in our parks. I can assure you the Council has no intention of ending or reducing the freedom of dog owners to let their dogs off the lead in certain parts of Holland Park. In other words, nothing has changed since the 2007 regulations were introduced and
    the off-lead dog exercise area – Earl’s Court Walk, Duchess Walk and the
    walkway to Ilchester Gate – is staying.”



    However, the email from Claire Rai to Sir Malcom Rifkind dated 19 Feb 2014 (which was sent to us by Sir Malcolm and attached) contradicts your reassurance. 

Indeed as you highlight, the “Dogs on Lead Order 2007″ has been in force since 29th January 2007.

    The description of the land to which this Dog Order applies is so broad, that
    the effect of the Order is to require all dogs to be kept on a lead at all times in Holland Park, albeit that, in practice, the Parks Police does not appear to enforce the Order in ‘Dog Exercise Areas’ such as Earls Court Walk, Duchess Walk and the walkway to Ilchester Gate.



    Furthermore, we note that the penultimate paragraph of Claire Rai’s email states: 

”There is currently a proposal to amend the Dog Control Order[s 2007] with the even simpler designation that dogs must be kept on leads on:



    a) Any land within the administrative area of RBKC which is open to the air, including
covered land which is open to the air on at least one side and to which the public are
    entitled or permitted to have access with or without payment.



    b) All public roads, adjoining footways and verges

This amendment has been approved by Councillors. Public consultation will commence shortly and, if passed, will leave no doubt that dogs must be kept on leads anywhere in the open air at
    anytime.”



    Clearly neither Claire Rai’s email to Sir Malcolm nor the proposed changes to the Dog Control Orders 2007 (documented in the proposed 2013 Dog Control Orders attached) accurately reflect the rights and obligations of dog owners exercising their dogs in Holland Park.

    

Please would you therefore categorically confirm the following:

    1. That the wording of clause 1 of the proposed Dogs on Leads Order 2013 will be amended to exclude the areas not covered by that Order, as follows (amendments
underlined):



    “1. This Order applies only to the land specified in Schedule 1 and shall not, for the
avoidance of doubt, apply to Earl’s Court Walk, Duchess Walk, the walkway to
Ilchester Gate and Holland House Terrace, and all parks in RBKC including Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park.”

    

i. Dog Owners also request that the Council formally consult with us with regards to creating another reasonable sized enclosed space where dogs can be socialized and trained off-lead; we suggest the fenced field behind Holland House; if that is not suitable, please suggest an appropriate alternative;



    2. That the wording of clause 1 of the proposed Dogs Exclusion Order 2013 will be amended to exclude the areas not covered by that Order, as follows (amendments
underlined):



    “1. This Order applies only to the land specified in Schedule 1 and shall not, for the
avoidance of doubt, apply to Earl’s Court Walk, Duchess Walk, the walkway to
Ilchester Gate, Holland House Terrace and all parks in RBKC including Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park (and the other space to be consulted with as referred to in 1.i
    above.

    

3. That the proposed 2013 Dog Control Orders (i.e. The Fouling of Land
    by Dogs Order 2013, The Dogs on Leads Order 2013, The Dogs on Leads by
    Direction Order 2013, The Dogs Exclusion Order 2013 and The Dogs (Specified
    Maximum) Order 2013) and which shall include the amendments proposed in (1. and
    2. above) will replace the 2007 Dog Control Orders in their entirety.



    4. That the “Dogs on Leads” signs on Holland House Terrace and the new “No Dogs
    Allowed” signs in the fenced-off area by the statue of the walking man will be
    removed, as we do not believe there is any substantive evidence to support dogs
    off
their leads causing a nuisance in these areas, nor any evidence of
    long-term and inordinate dog fouling.

    

Requesting Dogs to be put on leads will not stop dogs from defecating; neither will these signs encourage the very small anti-social minority who refuse to pick up mess, to change this bad habit. Responsible dog owners regularly remind this minority to pick up the mess, and offer “poo” bags.



    5. That (as agreed by David Page in his email to Friends of Dogs in Parks dated 19 March 2014, attached) dog owners and Friends of Dogs in Parks will be made aware of in advance, formally consulted with and kept fully updated and included in
both:



    (a) a widely publicised and well-advertised consultation process in connection with the proposed 2013 Dog Control Orders; and



    (b) all aspects of the administration of Holland Park, including the 10 year Master
Plan for Holland Park from 2016 to 2016.



    (c) that all future park consultations will be widely publicized and well-advertised, with
 many notices within the parks and at every entry point and notice board, as well as via email and Council newspapers

(c) given a space in Park Notice Boards to publicise Dog-related news in the same manner afforded the “Friends of Holland Park”.

    

We look forward to your prompt action on these matters above.

    We have also sent a copy of this email by post to the Head of Waste and Street
    Enforcement, Kathy May,
at The Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, London W8 6PW and submitted to Kathy
by e-mail to [email protected], in accordance with
    the instructions for
representations set out in the proposed 2013 Dog Control
    orders, attached.

    

Local Dog Owners are the daily eyes and ears of the park, we foster and grow a sense of community. We are the most frequent daily users of the park walking there 2-4 times a day. Walks with dogs off-lead so they can socialize, run and play, benefit the health and wellbeing of many members of the Community including the very young, families and pensioners. We love and care for the park; a walk in the park is a healthy, free and daily dose of joy.



    We promote responsible dog ownership, well-socialised and well-behaved dogs, and
    we wish to collaborate constructively with the Council and Parks Police to ensure healthy, happy, socialized dogs that behave well in parks long-term. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for your support in this matter, which is so close to all our hearts.



    With kind regards, 

Professor John Cosgrove

    Dr. Jon Bowen – Veterinary Surgeon – Dog Behaviour Specialist. 

    Dr. Richard Allport – Veterinary Surgeon – Complementary Medicine

    Dr. Andrew Carmichael – Veterinary Surgeon – Holland Park
    
Edward Buckhaven
    
Nick Hopper
    
Justin
    Keeling
    
Julia Basirov
    
Eric Chatroux
    
Mei Lee

    Alex Brodie



    Friends of Dogs in Parks

    

Cc: Mr. Charles Williamson Mayor of RBKC
 [email protected]



    Cllr Warwick Lightfoot (Holland Ward and previous Mayor)
    [email protected]

    

Cllr Deborah Collinson: [email protected]



    Postal address for RBKC Councillors & Mayor:


    c/o Town Hall Hornton Street London W8 7NX

    

Mr. David Page
, Director for Safer Neighbourhoods RBKC, Hammersmith & [email protected]

    Ms. Kathy May, Head of Waste & Street Enforcement (Streetline)[email protected]
    Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, London W8 6PW



    Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP
    c/o [email protected]
    
House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

  • Dog wars (“The Spectator” 5 April 2014)

    Sir: We read with interest Josie Appleton’s ‘The Battle against the Dog Police’ (15 March). In March, dog owners in Holland Park got a whiff of some new ‘dogs on leads’ orders. An Inspector Rumble had authorised new rules on Holland House Terrace, a place where dogs had previously run free. A parks officer laughed that the inspector had ‘told us to expect trouble!’ — and indeed these officers have been poised to pounce on dog owners. The reason given by the Parks Police was ‘too much dog waste’.

    This is categorically not the case in Holland Park. Besides, how can putting a dog on a lead persuade it to defecate less, or encourage an antisocial minority who refuse to ‘bag up’ to change their ways?

    Our MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind made a representation on our behalf to the Parks Police. He received a letter from Claire Rai, ‘Head of Community Safety’ in Kensington and Chelsea, which read: ‘This means all dogs are required to be kept on a lead at all times in Holland Park… There is currently a proposal to amend the Dog Control Order with the designation that dogs must be kept on leads on both any land within the administrative area of RBKC which is open to the air and all public roads, adjoining footways and verges. This amendment has been approved by councillors. Public consultation will commence shortly.’

    These Dog Control Orders 2007/13 remain a sword of Damocles over the heads of all dog owners. Earlier this month, we started an online petition that asks that we give dogs off-lead areas in parks where they can run free; that we give dog owners a formal voice in consultation; and that we amend Dog Control Orders to better suit the needs of owners.

    Dog owners would prefer not to ‘fight back’ but instead collaborate constructively with the authorities. If readers would like copies of original documents, please email [email protected].

    
Professor John Cosgrove et al
    Dr. Jon Bowen – Veterinary Surgeon – Dog Behaviour Specialist
    Dr. Richard Allport – Veterinary Surgeon – Complementary Medicine
    Dr. Andrew Carmichael – Veterinary Surgeon – Holland Park
    Dr. Pamela Neville-Sington
    Edward Buckhaven
    Nick Hopper
    Justin Keeling
    Mei Lee
    Mohammed Reza Behzadi
    Julia Basirov
    Eric Chautroux
    Gabrielle McCarthy
    Alex Brodie
    Hon. William Jolliffe

    
Friends of Dogs in Parks, London

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  • FRIENDS OF DOGS IN PARKS IS NOW ON FACEBOOK!

    DO YOU LOVE DOGS?
    PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO LET YOUR DOGS RUN FREE IN PARKS!

    Please LIKE & SHARE with all of your friends to raise awareness for this important cause, so that dogs can run free in UK parks.

    http://on.fb.me/1jgKZ6n

    Friends of Dogs in Parks

  • LOCAL ELECTIONS 4 MAY: ASK YOUR COUNCILLOR, “WHAT IS YOUR STANCE RE AMENDING DOG CONTROL ORDERS AS LEGALLY RECOMMENDED, SO DOGS HAVE PLACES TO RUN OFF-LEAD IN PARKS?”

    On 19/2/14, Claire Rai wrote: 
“This amendment has been approved by Councillors… will leave no doubt that dogs must be kept on leads anywhere in the open air at any time.”

    Since 13/3/14, we still have not heard from the Cllrs why they approved this amendment to the Dog Control Orders in March 2013.

    We have asked Cllrs to amend Dog Control Orders 2007/13 in consultation with Dog Owners, as legal advice warns “Dogs on Leads” remain enforceable anywhere at any time, including after the elections, unless they are amended to include exclusions eg: parks.

    Yet Cllrs have not responded when they are going to: 


    1) Consult with Dog Owners;

    2) Amend these Dog Control Orders as legally recommended.

    Please write to your Cllrs asking them regarding their stance on above, in advance of local elections on 4 May. We will then update you re their response. Every letter counts, pls email us a copy so it’s not lost.

    Thank you.

    Prof John Cosgrove
    Dr. Jon Bowen – Veterinary Surgeon – Dog Behaviour Specialist
    Dr. Richard Allport – Veterinary Surgeon – Complementary Medicine
    Dr. Andrew Carmichael – Veterinary Surgeon – Holland Park
    Dr. Pamela Neville-Sington
    Edward Buckhaven
    Nick Hopper
    Adam John Williams
    Mei Lee
    Mohammed Reza Behzadi
    Mohd Hassan Sukiman
    Julia Basirov
    Eric Chautroux
    Justin Keeling
    Gabrielle McCarthy
    Alex Brodie
    Hon. William Jolliffe

    FRIENDS OF DOGS IN PARKS

    [email protected]

  • We are very worried about dogs approaching women, and children in Holland Park. A number of complaints have been made about this. Some people do not wish to be approached by dogs. Another problem in Holland Park is dogs approaching people sitting on benches, eating sandwiches, which is also a matter of great concern.

  • We as a community are worried about dogs approching women, and children in Holland Park. Many women, and children, do not wish to be approached by dogs. And then there is the problem of dogs approching people, sitting on benches in the park, eating sandwiches? We, as a commutity, wouldlike to see all dogs kept on leads in the park.

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