Evidence supporting the need for dogs on leads at St Helens beach and promenade.

The request was refused by Isle of Wight Council.

Dear Isle of Wight Council,

I am writing to request information relevant to the council's current ongoing consultation on the proposed amendment to the Dogs On Leads Order and your intention to make it a requirement for owners to keep dogs on leads at St Helens beach and promenade.
http://www.iwight.com/Council/OtherServi...

As you are aware the last time the council proposed changes to the Dog Control Orders (2009) St Helens beach was subsequently removed from the list of the banned beaches as the result of the public consultation feedback, namely the public outcry, protests and petitions at the lack of need for further dog regulations at St Helens.

Please supply the evidence and recorded information which the council has considered that supports the need for the current proposed amendment, including, but not limited to, the number of relevant complaints that have been received and please include the details of any complaint, given that the area does not currently have any requirement for the exclusion of dogs or for them to be on leads.

Also please supply enforcement details for the Islands Dog Control Orders since the Island Independents administration took office in May 2013. Please include the number of Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) that have been issued and the prosecutions brought under the following Orders:

THE DOGS ON LEADS (ISLE OF WIGHT) ORDER 2007
THE FOULING OF LAND BY DOGS (ISLE OF WIGHT) ORDER 2007
THE DOGS EXCLUSION (ISLE OF WIGHT) ORDER 2008

Please also give details of which offence each FPN/prosecution was issued for, the date and the location where each offence occurred and whether the FPN/fine was paid or went unpaid.

As the ongoing consultation commenced yesterday (25 April 2014) and runs for six weeks until 6 June 2014, please supply the public information requested in this FOI request at your earliest convenience in order that the public have the opportunity to digest the information and submit informed responses based upon the evidence which they are entitled to.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Figg

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

The wightdogs.com website is linking to this request in order to better inform its 370 resident and visiting dog loving members, and the sites many visitors, of the Island Independents council's intentions towards their treasured pets.
http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top...

Penny Bunn left an annotation ()

It is high time this disgusting persecution of dog owners was brought to a halt and I can scarcely believe the council is trying this again, after such a display of public objections the last time.

Wishing everyone involved the very best in stopping this latest attack on dog owners.

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request relating to dog control
orders.

 

As required by law, the Council will respond to you as soon as possible
and no later than 20 working days after the receipt of your request,
received on 28 April.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the council is able to charge a
fee where the cost for responding is above the Appropriate Fee Limit as
set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulation 2004.  The fee limit is set down by the Lord
Chancellor and is £450 which equates to a maximum of 18 hours of search
and retrieval time. 

 

Should your request fall into this category, we will notify you as soon as
possible, to discuss any options available to you.

 

The Council may also charge you the cost of disbursements, such as
photocopying and postage.  Should such costs be incurred in providing you
with the information you have requested, you will be notified of any
charges as soon as is reasonably practicable.

 

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
write to the Corporate Information Unit at the above address, or complete
the on-line appeals form that can be found at www.iwight.com/information. 
If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have
the ultimate right, once you have exhausted the internal appeals process,
to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

Helen Vrba

 

 

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer |  Recreation, Leisure and Public
Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross
Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB

01983-821000 ext 8733 | [1][email address] | [2]www.iwight.com

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Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

Details of the online petition opposing the council's proposal that dogs should be on leads at St Helens beach can be found on this link http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top...

It is difficult to see how the council can feel justified in delaying supplying the public information requested immediately given it is highly relevant in order that the public can make an informed response to the councils own consultation.

Dear Vrba, Helen,

As this information is urgently required to properly inform the public who you have invited to take part in your own consultation, in order that they can make an informed response to that consultation, if it would assist in speeding up the council response to this request it would be acceptable if you only supply enforcement details for the Islands Dog Control Orders from the 6 November 2013 until the date of the request, rather than from when the Island Independents administration took office in May 2013, given that in a previous request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f... the IW council have already revealed that Zero FPN's had been issued under the Island Independents administration from when they took power in May 2013 until 5 November 2013

I would have considered that as the Isle of Wight council have initiated this consultation and invited the public to take part it would be obvious that the public can only make submit an informed response by having access to the available evidence and performance data. I would therefore have expected the council to have compiled this information and made it available prior to the start of the consultation, which has not been the case. Given that I also understood that it is a prerequisite, under DEFRA guidance, that a competent authority making the Dog Control Orders has to actually enforce the Orders. If that cannot be shown to be the case I fail to see how the authority can be in a position to make further Orders or amend existing ones. Please supply the information requested at your earliest convenience as it is vital to the very process you have initiated.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

I no longer work on Friday and will only respond to your email on Tuesday (Monday is a public holiday).

If your enquiry is urgent, please call 821000 ext 8733 and a colleague may be able to help you

Many thanks
Helen

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Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg

I have not replied until now as we were waiting for some additional information from the parish council. This has now been received and I have posted our reply to the whatdotheyknow website.

Regards
Helen Vrba (Mrs)

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer | Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB
01983-821000 ext 8733 | [email address] | www.iwight.com
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show quoted sections

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Figg

 

Attached is our response to your request relating to dogs on leads at St
Helens.

 

Regards

Helen Vrba

 

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer |  Recreation, Leisure and Public
Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross
Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB

01983-821000 ext 8733 | [1][email address] | [2]www.iwight.com

As part of our commitment to sustainable working please don’t print unless
necessary

Please note that we are moving offices on Thursday 15 May 2014.  Our new
address will be Floor 2, County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1UD. All
phone numbers will remain unchanged

 

Important Information - Disclosure, Confidentiality and Monitoring of this
email

This email communication may be monitored by the Isle of Wight Council for
regulatory, quality control, or crime detection purposes.

If you are not the Intended Recipient please contact the sender as soon as
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person, firm or company to whom it is addressed. It may contain
information that is privileged and confidential in law. Accordingly any
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The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to disclosure to
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please make this clear in your response).

References

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Dear Vrba, Helen,

Could you please supply the details of the six complaints the Parish council have received, as I have already requested.

Also you state "One complaint about a dog off the lead on the beach was received by Environment Officers team during 2013" But as there is currently no requirement for dogs to be on leads I fail to see the relevance of such a complaint, please also supply details as already requested.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

The IW council have revealed that the current proposed amendment to the Dogs on Leads Order (to add St Helen Duver, promenade and beach) has been initiated on the grounds of the parish council having received just six complaints concerning dogs on the beach during 2013.
Along with one complaint about a dog off the lead on the beach being received by Environment Officers team during 2013 (even though currently dogs can legitimately be off the lead here)........con't on the wightdogs.com website http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top... to better inform our 369 members and the many site visitors.

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg

I have requested specific details from the parish council and will get back to you once I have their response.

Regards
Helen

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer | Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB
01983-821000 ext 8733 | [email address] | www.iwight.com
As part of our commitment to sustainable working please don't print unless necessary
Please note that we are moving offices on Thursday 15 May 2014. Our new address will be Floor 2, County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1UD. All phone numbers will remain unchanged

show quoted sections

Penny Bunn left an annotation ()

It is clear, Mr Figg, that this is yet ANOTHER case where a council constructs its own 'evidence' to prove its argument, disregarding the fact that the 'evidence' is flimsy at best. Some of it is also clearly irrelevant, in this case, as well! But obviously, of use to any council looking to introduce unwelcome and invalid DCOs AGAINST public opinion!

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

Agreed Penny Bunn
The IW council have responded with: (referring to the six complaints) "I have requested specific details from the parish council"

This strikes me as very odd given that if these six complaints have supposedly already been considered in reaching a decision on whether the proposed changes were a proportional response, and therefore should be put forward to the public consultation stage. How then can the IW council not have their own records of them and need to request the specific details?

I am left wondering who exactly has authorised using public money for this expensive consultation and did they even consider the evidence before doing so?

Read more on the wightdogs website, better informing the 369 resident and visiting dog loving member and the many site visitors http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top...

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Figg

I now have details of two complaints received by the parish council. Unfortunately, these are all that have been supplied to me so far.

I am still awaiting details of the complaint made to the council referred to below.

Yours sincerely
Helen

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer | Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport| Isle of Wight PO30 1UD
01983-821000 ext 8733 | [email address] | www.iwight.com
As part of our commitment to sustainable working please don't print unless necessary

show quoted sections

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

With 2 weeks of the public consultation to go the six complaints about dogs in a year, which the IW council have supplied as information to this FOI request for the evidence they consider backs up their intention to make all dog owners keep their Dogs on Leads at St Helens beach and Promenade, have only produced two complaints so far:

ST HELEN’S PARISH COUNCIL : COMP
LAINTS ABOUT DOGS NOT ON LEADS
1) The incident I mentioned at one meeting happened last February this year, we were taking
our morning walk along the beach when a co
uple walking a Labrador came along, the
Labrador started to chase another dog and ran st
raight into my left leg on my knee. I have
a bad knee due to 50 years of plumbing and I fell to the ground with the force of the dog, I
was not happy as you can imagine and told the
people that dogs shou
ld be kept on leads
at all times in public places, the reply was well
that's dogs for you. No
t one word of apology,
obviously it was my fault for being there.
On another occasion last summer
we were sat outside our beac
h hut, the people next door
were also sat outside theirs, someone with
a dog on one of those
extending leads came
along and the dog , the dog owner was oblivious
peed on the legs of the neighbours deck
chair while she was sat in it the dog owner wa
s oblivious due to the fact that he was not
even looking at his animal, I told the neighbour what had happened but by then the culprit
had gone.
I am not sure about this but I believe the Mill
Rd caravan park does not allow dogs during
August, they obviously feel that it does not
effect their business, people who claim that a
dogs on leads ban will effect tourism are comp
letely wrong it has no adverse effect in all
the places that have bans of which there are many. I could argue that a ban could have a
positive effect. I have written too the council
about the extending leads issue and have said
that these are dangerous especially to old people
2)
On the 19th July 2013 at precisely 15.00hrs we
arrived at the beach at St Helens. On our
arrival a Greyhound /Whippett type dog was attacking a white scottie type dog, it had the
scottie by the back of the neck and was tossing
it around like a rag
doll. The owner of the
Scottie was trying to stop the greyhound attacking his dog. The female owner of the
greyhoung type dog was watching
on helplessly saying sorry,
sorry sorry. The man eventually
separated the dogs, after a few choice words between the two the greyhound thing was
put on a lead.
The owner of the attack dog had no control over it whatsoever and was not even near her
dog at the start of the incident. I see this sa
me dog often down at the beach and it often
goes for small white dogs. If dog owners consid
er this sort of behaviour acceptable then I
do not, they were causing a nuisance to th
e public and this could not have happened if
they were on leads.

Dear Vrba, Helen,

In response to my FOI request the IW council stated it had received 7 complaints about dogs at St Helens beach, but failed to supply the details requested. On further prompting the IW council stated that they would have to obtain the details of the complaints from St Helens parish council and eventually supplied details of just two complaints. As I understand the process of making an FOI request, please correct me if I am mistaken, the authority has to supply the recorded information it had in its possession at the time the request was received.

This is the information I requested:

"Please supply the evidence and recorded information which the
council has considered that supports the need for the current
proposed amendment, including, but not limited to, the number of
relevant complaints that have been received and please include the
details of any complaint, given that the area does not currently
have any requirement for the exclusion of dogs or for them to be on
leads."

I asked for this information as under DEFRA Guidance on making a Dog Control Order, or amendments to existing Dog Control Orders, it clearly states that it is important for any authority considering a Dog Control Order to be able to show that this is a necessary and proportionate response to problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them.

Therefore I requested the information which I considered relevant for the IW council to show the proposal is a necessary and proportionate response. As the IW council had to then ask St Helens Parish council for the details of the complaints, even though the council had already stated it considered these complaints supported the need for the current proposed amendment, I fail to see how those complaints could possibly have been considered if the council were unaware of any details of them.

If the IW council did not have any relevant information in its possession which it had considered to support the need for the current proposed amendment, will the IW council state that rather than belatedly obtaining evidence which it didn't have in its possession at the date the request was received, and consequently at the time the decision was made to put the current proposal to public consultation with the intention to change the law.

The DEFRA guidance also states that failure to give due consideration to such factors as a necessary and proportionate response could make any subsequent Dog Control Order vulnerable to challenge in the Courts.

The DEFRA guidance also states that "Authorities should also consider how easy a Dog Control Order would be to enforce, since failure properly to enforce could undermine the effect of an order." Yet the IW council have confirmed that zero fines have been issued in the last year, for the entire Island, due to dogs not being on leads in areas where that is currently a requirement. Having taken this failing into consideration the IW council took the decision that they considered their enforcement was sufficient to add other areas to their Dogs on Leads Order, namely St Helens beach and Promenade.

Could you also please supply me with details of which individual/individuals took the decision use scarce public funds putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to public consultation, and what scrutiny was applied to that decision to ensure it was a necessary and proportionate response to problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them.

If you consider the previous paragraph to be a separate FOI Act request please treat it is one and action it according to the Act.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Vrba, Helen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg

Thank you for your email.

The council has undertaken the process regarding dogs on leads based on the information from another public body.

The Isle of Wight Council is conducting this public consultation to ascertain people's views. A Freedom of Information request requires the Isle of Wight Council to provide information which it holds at the time of the request. We have requested detailed information from the parish council which they have yet to supply in full and, as such, we cannot provide you with information that we do not currently hold.

If we are supplied with this information, we will of course forward it to you. You may, however, wish to obtain the information direct from the parish council itself.

The parish council requested Isle of Wight Council members to undertake this exercise and officers took this forward at the request of the local elected member.

Yours sincerely
Helen Vrba

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer | Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport| Isle of Wight PO30 1UD
01983-821000 ext 8733 | [email address] | www.iwight.com
As part of our commitment to sustainable working please don't print unless necessary

show quoted sections

Dear Vrba, Helen,

I have already emailed to express dissatisfaction with the way this FOI Act request has been handled. I have therefore already requested a review of the request as you have been clearly informed in the email you received from thewhatdotheyknow.com website prompting the IW council's response to that review.

You cannot carry out that review as you have handled the response to the original request.

Please pass this request to whoever handles FOI requests for the IW council without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

The council have stated: "The Isle of Wight Council is conducting this public consultation to ascertain people's views" and that "The parish council requested Isle of Wight Council members to undertake this exercise and officers took this forward at the request of the local elected member."

Presumably the local elected member refers to Cllr. Jonathan Francis Bacon, Brading, St Helens and Bembridge, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulatory Matters, who himself resides at Duver Road, St Helens. http://www.iwight.com/councillor/jonatha...

The council are indeed "conducting this public consultation to ascertain people's views" but they are ascertaining people's views on the Isle of Wight councils intention to amend the Dogs On Leads Order, adding the requirement, in law, for all dogs to be on leads, all year round, at the Duver beach and Promenade, St Helens.

The Isle of Wight council have confirmed that the recorded evidence they had, when they took the decision to put their proposal to add St Helens Duver beach and Promenade to their Dogs On Leads Order out to public consultation, included that St Helens parish council had told them they had received 6 complaints about dogs in this area and had requested Isle of Wight Council members to undertake this exercise.

At the time my FOI request was made, after the date the consultation had already commenced, the Isle of Wight council apparently held no recorded information as to the details of those complaints. It has subsequently emerged that one of those complaints, supposedly justifying the need for dogs to be kept on leads, was concerning a dog which was actually on a lead and had cocked his leg on a deck chair. Such was the quality of the evidence which the Isle of Wight council had no details of.

Despite this the officers of the Isle of Wight council proposed the amendment to the Dogs On Leads Order adding the requirement for all dogs to be on leads, all year round, in this area and, as per the requirement in law, this was then put to public consultation. We can only assume that they therefore considered this to be a proportionate response based on the evidence, as apparently did the local elected member.

The Isle of Wight council were also aware, as revealed in this FOI request, that in the last twelve months they have not issued any fines for the entire Island for failing to keep a dog on a lead, as per the requirements set out in the Isle of Wight Dogs on leads Order. Also, as set out below, zero fines have been issued between 2009 and 2012.

For the two years previous, Nov 2010- Nov 2011 & Nov 2011-Nov 2012, zero fines had been issued for the entire Island for failing to keep a dog on a lead as per the requirements set out in the Isle of Wight Dogs on leads Order http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top...

For the year previous to that, Nov 2009- Nov 2010, zero fines had been issued for the entire Island for failing to keep a dog on a lead as per the requirements set out in the Isle of Wight Dogs on leads Order
http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top....

Therefore on the basis of this abysmal enforcement record the we can only assume that the council are confident that they will be capable of enforcing their proposed amendment to add the Duver beach and Promenade to this Order, as it is a requirement of the DEFRA guidance on making, or amending, a Dog Control Orders that the authority making the Order (in this case Isle of Wight council) "...should also consider how easy a Dog Control Order would be to enforce, since failure properly to enforce could undermine the effect of an order." https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

The wightdogs.com website is linking to this request to better inform its many members and the dog loving public
http://www.wightdogs.com/apps/forums/top...

Dear Vrba, Helen,

On 21 May I sent. as part of this request, a request for further information, as copied below:

"Could you also please supply me with details of which
individual/individuals took the decision use scarce public funds
putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to
public consultation, and what scrutiny was applied to that decision
to ensure it was a necessary and proportionate response to problems
caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them.

If you consider the previous paragraph to be a separate FOI Act
request please treat it is one and action it according to the Act."

In Helen VRba's email response of 22 May she has stated. on behalf of the Isle of Wight council:

"The parish council requested Isle of Wight Council members to undertake this exercise and officers took this forward at the request of the local elected member."

It is unclear to me whether the isle of Wight council consider this a full response to that information request. Would you please clarify.

Also, details of which individual/individuals took the decision to use scarce public funds putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to public consultation, have not been supplied other than a vague reference to 'officers'. Please supply the information requested or state why you consider the officers who took this decision should remain anonymous.

It is also stated that 'officers' took this forward at the request of the local ' elected member',

Would you please confirm whether this was the only scrutiny applied to the decision to initiate a public consultation, as per the legal requirement for any intention to make changes to the Dog Control Orders, with a view to forcing all dog owners to keep dogs on leads all year round at the St Helens Duver beach and Promenade. You have already stated that the 'officers' had no details of the 'complaints' their decision was based upon. Did the elected member himself have details of the 'complaints'? As, if so, why were these details not supplied in your response to my original request?
Would you also please confirm whether the 'elected member' in question is: Cllr. Jonathan Francis Bacon, Brading, St Helens and Bembridge, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulatory Matters, who himself resides at Duver Road, St Helens. http://www.iwight.com/councillor/jonatha...

Could you also please inform the Head of Scrutiny at the council that I wish for this matter to be formally referred to the Overview and Scrutiny committee, and ask that I am contacted. I am having to make this request publicly on this website as my emails to officers, elected members and the Head of Scrutiny have, for the last five years, been intercepted by the Isle of Wight council prior to reaching my intended recipients.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Johnson, Karen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg,

 

Re: Information Request CRM Refiw14/4/57660 Appeal Ref iw14/5/61092

 

Thank you for your recent email relating to your above referenced request
for information.

 

The council considers any notification of dissatisfaction with respect to
replies given to requests for information, under the Freedom of
Information Act, as a request for an internal review.

 

In accordance with the council’s Access to Information Policy, and in line
with the Code of Practice under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, the council will undertake an independent internal review of
your request. 

 

The council will endeavor to complete the review and send a full reply
within 20 working days. 

 

On completion of the appeal, if you remain dissatisfied with the way the
council has dealt with the matter, you may appeal to the Information
Commissioners Office, at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
SK9 5AF. [1]www.ico.org.uk.

 

In the meantime, if I can be of any further assistance to you, please do
not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Karen Johnson | Information Access Officer | Corporate Information Unit
|  Legal Services | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport | Isle
of Wight | PO30 1UD | Tel: (01983) 821000 | Email:
[email address] | Web: [2]www.iwight.com

 

This email may contain personal information.  Please do not forward this
email unless you are satisfied that to do so would not constitute a breach
of the Data Protection Act. If you are unsure please contact the author.

 

Important Information - Disclosure, Confidentiality and Monitoring of this
email

This email communication may be monitored by the Isle of Wight Council for
regulatory, quality control, or crime detection purposes.

If you are not the Intended Recipient please contact the sender as soon as
possible. It is intended only for the personal attention of the named
person, firm or company to whom it is addressed. It may contain
information that is privileged and confidential in law. Accordingly any
unauthorised dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this
message or any of its content by any other person may constitute a breach
of civil or criminal law and is strictly prohibited. No mistake in
transmission is intended to waive or compromise any such privilege. Any
views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may
not necessarily reflect the views of the Isle of Wight Council.

The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to disclosure to
third parties under either the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 to the extent the law allows and in accordance with
the Isle of Wight Council's policies on information management. (If you
wish the disclosure of the information in any reply to be restricted
please make this clear in your response).

References

Visible links
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2. http://www.iwight.com/

Dear Johnson, Karen,

In the review please consider that in their initial response the I council stated "The Council would only make an order following consultation where it was necessary and a proportionate response to actual or potential problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them."
I had actually requested "the evidence and recorded information which the council has considered that supports the need for the current proposed amendment" This evidence has not been supplied, only a vague reference to six complaints from the parish council and one complaint about a dog off the lead on the beach was received by Environment Officers team during 2013. Details of only two complaints from the parish council were eventually supplied and the apparently non relevant complaint about a dog off the lead in this area where dogs don't currently have to be on leads never materialised either. Please supply copies of the information the officers considered before they reached the conclusion that the amendment, and therefore the consultation, was necessary and justified.

If the council had considered no evidence to support the need for the proposed amendment, yet had committed themselves to the expense of holding a public consultation exercise anyway, that should have been clearly stated in the response rather than attempting to gather evidence afterwards. To suggest that the 'evidence' supplied could in any way constitute a necessary and a proportionate response to actual or potential problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them would justify this proposed amendment, or the consultation process required to propose the amendment, would, I suggest, be disproportionate and a waste of public money in the opinion of any reasonable person.

Please clarify whether or not your review will also be dealing with my request for the details of which officers decided to use scarce public funds putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to public consultation and whether the local elected member provided the only 'scrutiny' for that decision to go ahead. As I have not yet had a full response to this.

Please also confirm that this matter has to be formally referred to the Overview and Scrutiny committee as I have requested.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Mrs Cook left an annotation ()

That this has come as far as public consultation on an intention to change the law clearly demonstrates all that is wrong with local government and why the electorate has lost faith. Anti-Dog officers turning a blind eye to previous overwhelming public opinion and just ploughing on with their own agenda regardless. A handful of pathetic complaints from a few local anti-dog NIMBY's,which don't even appear to have been investigated for relevance or authenticity, and nodded through by a cabinet member living a short distance from the beach.

Dear Johnson, Karen,

Please also consider in the review that the IW council stated, in response to this request, " The parish council have now informed us they received six complaints concerning dogs on the beach during 2013. One complaint about a dog off the lead on the beach was received by Environment Officers team during 2013"

Yet following a further request to St Helens parish council https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

They have stated they received three requests and have also stated "I have at no time mentioned the number of six complaints" Please explain this discrepancy as it appears false information was supplied to this request made to obtained evidence for the public consultation you were holding at the time.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Dear Johnson, Karen,

I made an error in my earlier email: "They have stated they received three requests..."

This should read: "They have stated they received three complaints..."

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Johnson, Karen, Isle of Wight Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Figg,

 

Please find attached the findings of my investigation in to your request
for information regarding Dogs on Leads at St Helens beach and surrounding
area, based on your original request from April ref: iw14/4/57660

 

Regards

 

Karen Johnson | Information Access Officer | Corporate Information Unit
|  Legal Services | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport | Isle
of Wight | PO30 1UD | Tel: (01983) 821000 | Email:
[email address] | Web: [1]www.iwight.com

 

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Dear Johnson, Karen,

Please could you clarify the following points.

On 21 May I wrote to Helen Vrba and stated the following:

"Could you also please supply me with details of which individual/individuals took the decision use scarce public funds putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to public consultation, and what scrutiny was applied to that decision to ensure it was a necessary and proportionate response to problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them.

If you consider the previous paragraph to be a separate FOI Act request please treat it is one and action it according to the Act."

You have not yet stated whether you hold the information of who the individual/individuals who took the decision are, or supplied that information. Neither have you stated whether the IW council are treating that as a separate request

Could you also please confirm that you are saying that the IW council held no recorded information to supply to my request, other than confirming zero fines had been issued in the last 12 months under the existing Order, because none was obtained prior to the decision to take this proposal to public consultation? Therefore the decision was granted solely at the parish councils request and, prior to committing to use of funds from the public purse, the IW councils officers made no attempt to examine the quality of the evidence their proposal to change the law by amending the Dog Control Orders was based upon. That evidence subsequently being established as just 3 written complaints, a number of verbal complaints which weren't formally recorded and details are therefore only from memory. And the results of a questionnaire where only 53 members of St Helens population supported the dogs on leads proposal, yet this questionnaire didn't require the respondents to supply any personal details therefore they remain anonymous. In addition to the total lack of enforcement of the existing Dogs On Leads Order in the first 12 months of the Island Independents administration it has already been established that zero fines were issued in the two years prior to that. Therefore enforcement of the existing Order has been non existent yet the IW council officers remained confident that the amendment could be successfully enforced in line with DEFRA guidance on making a DCO.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Figg

Johnson, Karen, Isle of Wight Council

Dear Mr Figg,

 

Re: Information Request CRM Ref. iw14/6/61921

 

Further to request iw14/5/57660 and FOI appeal iw14/6/61092

                                                                              

Thank you for your request for information where you asked Isle of Wight
Council ‘which individuals made decisions in relation to the Dog Control
Order at St Helens.’  Your request was received by the council on 21 May
2014.

 

Now that I have processed the appeal for your request, I am now in a
position to obtain answers to the additional questions you posed on 21
May.  

 

As required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Isle of Wight
Council will respond to you as soon as possible and no later than 20
working days after the receipt of your request.  I have backdated the
request to the date it was received.  This means, therefore, the expected
response date would have been 18 June 2014.  As this has now passed the 20
days I will respond to you at the earliest convenience.

 

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
write to the Corporate Information Unit, County Hall, Newport, Isle of
Wight, PO30 1UD, or by email to [1][Isle of Wight Council request email] or complete the
on-line appeals form that can be found at
[2]http://www.iwight.com/Council/transparen...

If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have
the ultimate right, once you have exhausted the internal appeals process,
to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Karen Johnson | Information Access Officer | Corporate Information Unit
|  Legal Services | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport | Isle
of Wight | PO30 1UD | Tel: (01983) 821000 | Email:
[email address] | Web: [3]www.iwight.com

 

This email may contain personal information.  Please do not forward this
email unless you are satisfied that to do so would not constitute a breach
of the Data Protection Act. If you are unsure please contact the author.

 

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This email communication may be monitored by the Isle of Wight Council for
regulatory, quality control, or crime detection purposes.

If you are not the Intended Recipient please contact the sender as soon as
possible. It is intended only for the personal attention of the named
person, firm or company to whom it is addressed. It may contain
information that is privileged and confidential in law. Accordingly any
unauthorised dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this
message or any of its content by any other person may constitute a breach
of civil or criminal law and is strictly prohibited. No mistake in
transmission is intended to waive or compromise any such privilege. Any
views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may
not necessarily reflect the views of the Isle of Wight Council.

The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to disclosure to
third parties under either the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 to the extent the law allows and in accordance with
the Isle of Wight Council's policies on information management. (If you
wish the disclosure of the information in any reply to be restricted
please make this clear in your response).

References

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2. http://www.iwight.com/Council/transparen...
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Johnson, Karen, Isle of Wight Council

Karen Johnson
Information Access Officer
Legal Services, Floor 1 County Hall NEWPORT
Isle of Wight
PO30 1UD
Tel (01983) 821000
Fax (01983) 823257
Email: [email address]
DX 56361 Newport (Isle of Wight)
Web: www.iwight.com

27 June 2014

Mr B Figg
By email from:
[FOI #208604 email]

Dear Mr Figg,

Re: Information Request CRM Ref. iw14/6/61921

Thank you for your information request received 21 May 2014. Please find below the information you have requested. You asked the Isle of Wight Council the following:

“Could you also please supply me with details of which individual/individuals took the decision use scarce public funds putting this proposal to change the Dog Control Orders out to public consultation, and what scrutiny was applied to that decision to ensure it was a necessary and proportionate response to problems caused by the activities of dogs and those in charge of them.”

The Isle of Wight Council were asked to meet with St Helens Parish Council earlier in the year to discuss the issue that the parish were having with regards to dogs. The parish identified a number of complaints that they had with regards to dogs during the main season. Based on the information presented, the parish requested whether the Isle of Wight Council would consider undertaking a consultation exercise with regards to dogs on leads. Present at the meeting were the following people:

• Alex Minns, Strategic Manager, IWC
• Colin Schooling, Environment Officer, IWC
• Justin Thorne, Principal Lawyer, IWC
• Mike Rowlands, Senior Environment Officer, IWC
• Cllr Jonathan Bacon, Member, IWC
• Lisa Dyer, Clerk, St Helens Parish Council

There were a number of complaints that had identified issues with children. Clearly the authority needs to balance the interest of those in charge of dogs against the interest of those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people, in particular children, to have access to dog free areas, where dogs are kept under strict control. It is on this basis that the authority took a view that consultation should be considered.

For all other questions about information held by the council on your matter; I refer you to my appeal decision iw14/5/61092.

You are free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial, research, or private study purposes. However, if you intend to use the information for other reasons, please contact the Corporate Information Unit for advice.

Please contact me again if you require any further assistance on this matter and I will do my best to provide relevant help and advice.

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please email the Corporate Information Unit at [Isle of Wight Council request email] or complete the on-line appeals form that can be found at http://www.iwight.com/Council/transparen...

If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the ultimate right, once you have exhausted the internal appeals process, to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely

Karen Johnson | Information Access Officer | Corporate Information Unit |  Legal Services | Isle of Wight Council | County Hall | Newport | Isle of Wight | PO30 1UD | Tel: (01983) 821000 | Email: [email address] | Web: www.iwight.com

This email may contain personal information.  Please do not forward this email unless you are satisfied that to do so would not constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act. If you are unsure please contact the author.

Important Information - Disclosure, Confidentiality and Monitoring of this email

This email communication may be monitored by the Isle of Wight Council for regulatory, quality control, or crime detection purposes.

If you are not the Intended Recipient please contact the sender as soon as possible. It is intended only for the personal attention of the named person, firm or company to whom it is addressed. It may contain information that is privileged and confidential in law. Accordingly any unauthorised dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this message or any of its content by any other person may constitute a breach of civil or criminal law and is strictly prohibited. No mistake in transmission is intended to waive or compromise any such privilege. Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Isle of Wight Council.

The information contained in this e-mail may be subject to disclosure to third parties under either the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the extent the law allows and in accordance with the Isle of Wight Council's policies on information management. (If you wish the disclosure of the information in any reply to be restricted please make this clear in your response).

Mr. Figg left an annotation ()

Technically my request was not refused but the information supplied was, in the first instance, both incomplete and it later emerged that it was factually incorrect. Also the Info was requested to inform the public, during the IW council's own public consultation, of the evidence supporting the amendment. What was supplied came too late for the purpose of the public using it in making an informed response to the consultation, and we have no way of knowing whether the latest version is accurate or complete. Therefore I am referring this request and the way it was handled by the self proclaimed 'Open & Transparent"IW council to the Information Commissioner.

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