Proposed Dog Control Order

The request was partially successful.

Dear St Ives Town Council (Cornwall),

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, please provide the following information:

1. The number of people who have contacted you, in any form, to OPPOSE the proposed DCOs on beaches in the St Ives area.
2. The number of people who have contacted you, in any form, to SUPPORT the proposed DCOs on beaches in the St Ives area.
3. A copy of any report composed by a Working Group set up by your Council to conduct the consultation and explore options, including their conclusions and recommendations.
4. A copy of the Minutes of any meetings at which the consultation results have been discussed, particularly any meetings at which the decision about whether or not to introduce the measures is discussed. This includes any upcoming meetings relating to the final decision.
5. A copy of any documentation relating to a decision being
reached, including any supplementary paperwork related to the decision.

IF THE DCO IS INTRODUCED:

6. Evidence supporting any allegations of dog attacks on any of the beaches included in the proposed Order, and evidence of any kind of medical harm arising from any allegations made against dogs or their owners by people supporting the DCO introduction.
7. Copies of supporting documentary evidence from respectable authorities, such as local police, hospitals, the RSPCA, the Coastguard or any other relevant authorities that support the decision.
8. Copies of any documentary evidence that discredits claims made in support of the DCO introduction, along with any relevant paperwork demonstrating why such evidence has been dismissed.
9. Evidence that the decision to introduce Dog Control Orders on the relevant beaches complies with the Defra guidelines, ie that it is a measured response to a real threat and also that appropriate provision has been made for dog owners to properly exercise their dogs nearby, on a beach that is suitable for such purposes and which complies with the legal demands placed on dog owners to provide such exercise for them.

Yours faithfully,

Penny Bunn

Barbie Dog left an annotation ()

Hi Penny Bunn
Found you!Very interested in your request. St Ives Dog Owners group may have a lot of the information you need and in fact we have requested most of what you have, but hope you still go ahead. I have a FOI request review on this issue with the Commissioner's Office at present.
You can contact us through our facebook page Lifes a beach - stop the extended dog ban in St ives. I am judging from the tone of your request that you are against the proposals? Hope so!

Penny Bunn left an annotation ()

Barbie Dog - great to hear from you, and I AM ON BOARD, no worries! You need to join the Against The Perranporth Beach Dog Ban site on Facebook. We have uncovered ALL SORTS of unscrupulous action re their DCO and I recommend you read my requests to Perranporth Town Council on this FOIA site for full information. All the dog walkers across the UK need to band together to put a stop to this madness! I'm wanting to put together a national campaign and I hope you will be supportive of that. I will definitely join your Facebook page and many thanks for getting in touch.

Barbie Dog left an annotation ()

Hi
That is really helpful. We thought Prranporth was done and dusted. There is more that I can tell you but not online as being a small town our opponents soon get to hear what has been posted which has caused problems. The meeting to decide on the proposals is tomorrow night with a couple of councillors saying "this is not a referendum so numbers don't count" The Council have also tried to discredit the consultation documents we handed in but I have complained about that. The numbers are hugely against the proposals but there is a business interest group in the town who have been pushing the extended ban and it is difficult to estimate their power. So far as I know I have all the paperwork up to April when the meeting decided on the proposals. The proposals did not take any account of the preconsultation and we have analysed the figures which showed most people against the change. I will try and get that onto our facebook page. We have a lot of support for legal action if the decision goes against the consultation results. Must go, work to do but will try and put some stuff on fb for you to see

Penny Bunn left an annotation ()

Hi, Barbie Dog

Thanks for your annotation. Bear in mind, won't you, that your opponents can read these annotations (although they are not notified about them) and it might be best to correspond via the FB page or direct messaging.

Regarding what you've said about the situation in St Ives - it does not matter a jot what the 'business interests' have to say about anything. They have to be able to PROVE that there is a real need for extending the dog ban. This from Defra's website:

" It is also 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."

From what you say, this is yet ANOTHER case where an authority is trying to make a case for a DCO extension when in fact, they are simply trying to favour their buddies. NOT evidence that a DCO extension would be a 'necessary and proportionate response', then!

They need to have evidence. Furthermore, the number of people who've contacted the Council to register their objections DOES count. Where is the sense in holding a public consultation if the opinion of the public is going to be discounted? That is certainly what happened in Perranporth, and I am just about to send off a letter to Defra asking them to investigate. I suggest you do the same with St Ives. If they are arrogant enough to think they can discount the results of their public consultation, then they are very much mistaken.

Regarding legal action - in situations like this, the advice from the legal profession is generally to go for a Judicial Review. This is an expensive option, but I suggest we should do it as one big group - ie, involve EVERYONE from all campaigns across the country, and request donations from the millions of UK dog owners who will be outraged by what is going on. I think it is definitely achievable and I do think serious action needs to be taken, now - this whole situation has gone well beyond the ridiculous.

Hope that is helpful and we'll see what St Ives Council provide, in response to my FOIA request.

Very best of luck to you all tomorrow night.

Barbie Dog left an annotation ()

Happy to message but you need to friend me on facebook as your fb setting does not allow friends.

Penny Bunn left an annotation ()

This request links to one posted 25th October, also to St Ives Council, Cornwall, headed "Extended beach dog ban - further information".

Louise Dowe,

Dear Penny Bunn,

with regard to your requests for information, these are addressed in turn below:

1. & 2. Of course we can only provide the written information
received by email / post. Where the council and town councillors have
had verbal reports of either support or opposition to the DCO's, these
have not been recorded, except brief accounts of public speaking at
council and committee meetings.

With regard to the number of people who contacted the town council
during the 6 July to 28 September 2012 consultation process, these
figures are publicly available on the town council website:
http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/Repor...

In the interests of being fully open about the decision making
process, the town council has also published all the comments received
during the consultation process on the same website. All available to
view at: http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/html/...

These refer to the responses recevied during the consultation period.

There were around 165 letters and emails received before the
consultation on the proposed DCO's was launched. The council, when
considering the early correspondence, took account of the nature of
the issues raised in the correspondence, rather than counting up those
for or against a particular question. This is something that we can
do to answer your request, or we can send paper copies of these
letters to you, at the usual cost of 10p per sheet plus postage. As
an indication, there are 213 sheets, so this would cost £21.30 plus
postage. These letters have already been released to another FOIA
requestor, and so it may be the case that you can source them from
elsewhere.

Please confirm if you request that we commit resources to reading
through the pre-consultation letters to determine whether they would
be considered to be in support or opposition of the proposed DCO's.

And / or please confirm if you request copies of the pre-consultation
letters referred to above.

3. There has not been a Working Group set up by the Council. The
review of beach dog controls has been considered either at meetings of
the Environment Committee or of the Council. The minutes of all
council and committee meetings from 2009 onwards are publicly
available on the town council website:
http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/html/...

We will check for written reports, but from memory I recall that the
majority, if not all, were verbal reports and discussions.

If there are no written reports to match the description in your
request, then we will not be able to provide information not held.

4. As set out above, the minutes of all council and committee
meetings are published on the publicly available town council website
at: http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/html/...

The minutes of the Environment Committee on 24 October 2012 are the
(draft at this stage) record of the meeting where the recommendation
to council was decided. The council meeting where this will be
discussed next, with the intention of arriving at final decision, will
be held on 7 November 2012, after which the minutes will, of course,
be published on the town council website.

5. This documentation has all been publised on the town council
website at: http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/html/...

You ask for further information 'if the DCO is introduced'. Mindful
that FOIA requests should be answered as swiftly as possible, we will
answer this section of your request at this stage, albeit before the
final decision on whether or not the proposed Orders will be
introduced.

6. Allegations of harm from dogs on beaches were referred to in the
consultation responses, with the link to these included in the answer
to 1. above. Presuming that by evidence of allegations, you seek
medical or police reports, we do not hold any information of that
nature, and so cannot provide it to you.

7. No evidence is held from the local police, hospitals, RSPCA or
Coastguard. Please note that although these are all bodies that could
be asked for views, I understand that they are not statutory
consultees for DCO's.

8. This element of your request requires clarification before it can
be answered. The request appears to pre-suppose that claims are being
made in support of the DCO. There may be claims in the wider debate,
press, etc, but I am not aware of specific 'claims' having been made
by the Council. It would help us to answer this request if you could
be more specific, perhaps by setting out:

~ examples of claims made in support of the DCO consultation
~ the type of documentary evidence that might discredit such claims

9. The report and supporting papers to the 24 October 2012
Environment Committee, publicly available on the town council website
at: http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/html/... sets out
the attention that the town council has paid to the need to comply
with the DEFRA guidelines.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Dowe

--

Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DS
tel. 01736 797840
website: www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit: www.stivestic.co.uk

show quoted sections

--

Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DS
tel. 01736 797840
website: www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit: www.stivestic.co.uk

Barbie Dog left an annotation ()

This is the analysis we did of the 165 letters for which the Council wish to charge you. I already paid for them so you can borrow if you need them.

SUMMARY OF CORRESPONDENCE SUBMITTED TO ST IVES TOWN COUNCIL ABOUT DOGS BETWEEN JUNE 2010 AND APRIL 2012.
One hundred and sixty five letters or emails were received. One hundred did not want dogs banned from St Ives beaches and sixty four respondents supported a review of the existing dog control orders. Several people appeared to write more than once. One letter which only referred to Bamaluz beach was disregarded
LETTERS IN FAVOUR OF A REVIEW OF THE DOG CONTROL ORDERS

WHO:
Supporters of a review included fifty two local residents, nine holiday makers and three where residence was not stated. There were two letters from stakeholders and five from local businesses.
WHY:
• Forty three of the letters gave dog fouling (actual or potential) on the beach as their reason for supporting the proposals. Eight of these letters also referred to general problems in the town with dog fouling, usually outside their houses. Five of the nine holiday makers gave dog fouling as their reason.
• Twenty nine people specifically referred to reinstatement of the pre 2007 DCO’s.
• Fifteen letters referred to the possibility of dogs causing a nuisance by jumping up or running with two actual incidents reported of dogs jumping on people and one incident of a dog biting a child in 2009.
• Two respondents complained about dogs barking.
• Ten people cited toxocarosis as a reason.
• Four respondents expressed concern about blue flag status.
• Four respondents mentioned a need for more dog wardens/enforcement.
LETTERS THAT DID NOT WANT DOGS BANNED FROM BEACHES
WHO:
These included eighty three local residents, sixteen holidaymakers and one where residence was not stated. Of this total, thirteen respondents lived in Lelant and ten were second home owners. There was one letter from a stakeholder and eleven from local businesses.

WHAT THEY SAID:
91 letters said present DCO’s work well
37 thought the changes would have a negative economic effect on the town
27 thought people would holiday elsewhere
6 people drew attention to the poor access to dog beaches
2 people asked for another larger dog only beach
2 people gave Perranporth as an example of good practice.
13 Lelant residents were concerned about lack of facilities at Lelant and the problems that would result from increased use of Porthkidney beach
One person volunteered for him and his wife to be volunteer dog wardens, 1 day a week each.
A RNLI lifeguard wrote to say he had not seen any problems with dogs on the beach.
Almost all these letters agreed that dogs should not be on the beach during the day in the summer. The majority of letters asked for better policing of the dog fouling by laws, better signage and more waste bins.

Dear Louise Dowe,

Thank you for your response. I will be going through the information you have provided, to check that all the information I require is available via the links you have given me.

I notice immediately, however, that the Mark Noal report is missing. I gather this particular report was responsible for some of the groundwork being laid for the consultation and therefore, it should be provided as part of the FOIA request.

Regarding your request for clarification at point 8 of my request - I wanted to know what claims had been made about incidents involving/related to dogs, and whether any evidence had been submitted that proved those alleged incidents to be falsified.

Since Ms Nolan has already kindly provided the information on the letters you received, I will not be requiring those from you at the present time.

I will go through the information available at the links provided and let you know what I am missing. Meanwhile, I look forward to receiving a copy of the Noal report.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Louise Dowe,

I'm away from my desk until Monday 5 November and will respond to
emails upon my return. If your message is urgent, please ring the
town council office on 01736 797840 or contact
[email address]

--

Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DS
tel. 01736 797840
website: www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit: www.stivestic.co.uk

Louise Dowe,

Dear Penny Bunn,
 
Re:  'Regarding your request for clarification at point 8 of my request -
     I wanted to know what claims had been made about incidents
     involving/related to dogs, and whether any evidence had been
     submitted that proved those alleged incidents to be falsified.'

Any record of claim about incidents involving / related to dogs would be
contained within the consultation responses published on the website
[1]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk to which we've already provided links, or
else earlier claims would be included in the pre-consultation letters,
which you have previously confirmed that you do not request from us at the
present time.
 
A copy of the 'Mark Noall report' will not be released, for the following
reasons:
 

o The document was not presented as a report to the council or its
committees
o Inclusion of the author’s name in the request takes away the
opportunity to separate the individual’s comments and opinions from
their identity
o The author of the document has stated that he wishes the document to
be considered confidential to town councillors
o Section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides for
information to be exempt if the publication of the information would
constitute an actionable breach of confidence
o Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 provides that ‘everyone has a
right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his
correspondence’
o Information contained in the document is publicly available by other
means
o The decision not to disclose respects the confidentiality of those who
had given comments and views to the author which were subsequently
included in the document
o The author of the document has advised that they intend to produce a
version to be held by the town council and available for anyone to see
– Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act provides for the
non-disclosure of information intended for future publication.

I think this answers all outstanding questions relating to your FOI
request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Louise Dowe
 
--
 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall   TR26  2DS
tel. 01736  797840
website:  [2]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit:   [3]www.stivestic.co.uk

 

 
On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM, Penny Bunn
<[4][FOI #132609 email]> wrote:

     Dear Louise Dowe,

     Thank you for your response. I will be going through the
     information you have provided, to check that all the information I
     require is available via the links you have given me.

     I notice immediately, however, that the Mark Noal report is
     missing. I gather this particular report was responsible for some
     of the groundwork being laid for the consultation and therefore, it
     should be provided as part of the FOIA request.

     Regarding your request for clarification at point 8 of my request -
     I wanted to know what claims had been made about incidents
     involving/related to dogs, and whether any evidence had been
     submitted that proved those alleged incidents to be falsified.

     Since Ms Nolan has already kindly provided the information on the
     letters you received, I will not be requiring those from you at the
     present time.

     I will go through the information available at the links provided
     and let you know what I am missing. Meanwhile, I look forward to
     receiving a copy of the Noal report.

     Yours sincerely,

     Penny Bunn
     

show quoted sections

Barbie Dog left an annotation ()

My request for the report you requested is the subject of a review by the foi commissioners office. Perhaps you should have been told this as the information might become available after the review

Dear Louise Dowe,

I am in receipt of your response to my query over the Mark Noall report and respond as follows:

1. Since it is common knowledge that Mr Noall was the author of the report, you cannot claim protection of his identity as justification for refusing to release it.
2. If the views of other named individuals are also included in the report, this problem is easily resolved through either removing or blacking out their names.
3. Mr Noall's report, whether presented to the Council as a whole or not, was used as a basis from which to launch the current DCO consultation. It should therefore be released into the public sphere, since it has been used to influence and affect the general public and impacts on their rights.
4. You quote the Human Rights Act. Under the Act, and under UK law in general, all people are entitled to a fair trial. This has not been afforded to the dog owners your council is persecuting, without any valid evidence for doing so. Why are you so keen to protect Mr Niall's rights when the rights of potentially thousands of dog owners have been so flagrantly disregarded?
5. How has Mr Noall's identity been made available to the public? Since it appears to be common knowledge that he is the author of this report, I suggest that the council has failed to protect his identity already. I will therefore be asking the Information Commissioner's Office to investigate the council's handling of Mr Noall's report.
6. I will be sending a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office about your refusal to release this information. Particularly since it seems that the report was not handled in the appropriate manner, and fair warning was not given to Mr Noall, that if it was to be used as the basis for action directly affecting the general public, he could not necessarily expect confidentiality to be maintained.
7. It seems to me that the entire basis of this consultation has been corrupt. I suspect that Mr Noall has used sympathetic friends within the Council to push forward his personal views and ensure that his wishes regarding beach use in St Ives are met. That is corruption, Ms Dowe, and it needs investigating.

OTHER MATTERS

Clearly, your corrupt council intends to go ahead and push these DCO measures through at the meeting tonight. I would therefore be grateful if you could make them aware of the following:

1. Reports and complaints have already been sent on this matter to Defra, the Kennel Club and Dogs' Trust. At Defra's suggestion, these will now also be forwarded to the Local Government Ombudsman, with a request that he investigates this case as a matter of urgency.
2. The reputation of your council, and the wider reputation of St Ives as a whole, has already been seriously damaged by this DCO consultation and should the council go ahead with the proposed measures, both reputations will suffer further serious damage. This story has already been published in several local papers and on the internet. I live in Nottingham, but am a stakeholder in this consultation since I holidayed in Cornwall for many years with my dogs, until DCOs started to be introduced on your coastline. A great many dog owners in the East Midlands have already stopped coming to Cornwall, since they do not wish to holiday where their dogs are not welcome; and the actions of St Ives Town Council have obviously been a point of great discussion amongst many of us over recent weeks. As a result of DCOs, Cornwall as a whole has already lost a great deal of business from dog owners - the one group who are likely to return to an area year after year and NOT opt to go abroad for their holidays. In the current economic climate, I'd have thought that cultivating a 'loyal' customer base would have been extremely important to an area that depends so heavily on income from its tourist trade. Given how far this consultation has dragged your council into disrepute, I wouldn't have thought the council would be keen on adding to their poor reputation by going ahead with these proposals.
3. I was also in Yorkshire over the summer and spoke to many people there who are no longer coming to Cornwall, because they cannot bring their dogs. This included one couple who each owned their own, successful, businesses and who had been wanting to move to Cornwall with those businesses and their dogs. A visit to the area demonstrated that dogs are not welcome on most of the beaches there, so they had ditched their plans to relocate. Therefore, decisions to introduce further DCOs will not only seriously damage the local economy from a seasonal point of view, but also with regard to local business development and growth.
4. Your council has made a mockery of the Defra guidelines, paying lip-service only to the public consultation which you are obligated to conduct. The fact that your councillors have been heard openly stating that the outcome of the consultation has no bearing on the decision they will make, testifies to the corruption of the council members and their contempt for public opinion and Defra guidelines.
5. Almost 4,000 people signed a petition against the proposals and and almost 700 responded to your consultation opposing the proposals. Yet, because the council had already made up its mind to introduce them, the rights of those people to have their voices heard and their opinions respected and followed has been denied. Above all, this contempt for public opinion will do more damage than anything else to the reputation of your council; both in the eyes of the dog-owning public and also in the eyes of those who do not own dogs but who demand that those voted into positions of power follow ethical and legal codes of conduct.
6. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. The results of the public consultation should have meant that the opinions of the majority should have prevailed. Your council is showing utter contempt for the democratic processes on which this country is built and around which its legal processes work.
7. The Defra guidelines demand that any council considering introducing DCOs also pays attention to considering the needs of dog owners and their right to exercise their pets off-lead. I do not consider that the restrictions you had in place BEFORE this consultation were within those guidelines; forcing dog owners to use the beach at night only does not constitute showing due consideration for dog owners' needs. The new proposals will mean that dogs are effectively BANNED from St Ives and that contravenes the Defra guidelines, the legal obligations of dog owners AND all ethical and moral obligations around fairness and democracy. At least ONE beach should have been left open to dog owners, during the day, if you were to have any hope of retaining either their holiday-making business or to still be working within the requirements of the law.
8. Under the new proposals, harbour beach would be the only one available to dog owners, and this would only be at night. Harbour beach is a very small beach, I understand, and also a working harbour. Therefore, by making dog owners use it at night, you are placing them, and their pets, in potential danger. You are also not complying with Defra guidelines since by no stretch of the imagination can a small and dangerous beach, which is available only at night, be considered a fair facility for dog owners' needs under Defra guidelines.
9. I gather that the nearest beach to St Ives that remains free of DCOs is a twenty minute drive away. Again, you are flouting DCO requirements through not providing sufficient space for non-car-owning residents to exercise their dogs on the beach.
10. Under new laws introduced a few years ago, dog owners are obligated to provide their dogs with appropriate exercise, off-lead. Your council is interfering with dog owners' legal obligations to fulfil their own side of the law.
11. If you go ahead with these proposals, your council WILL find itself facing charges in a court of law. These are likely to be brought by the wider dog-owning population in the UK, not just by local residents in St Ives. I wouldn't have thought the council would want to be the subject of the unfavourable national publicity that this would obviously engender.
12. The actions of your council are a perfect example of utter, insatiable greed. Dogs were ALREADY banned from most of your beaches during daylight hours, and you were therefore ALREADY in contravention of Defra guidelines. Clearly, it wasn't enough for some friends of your councillors, who want dogs banned from all your beaches even during the night. Your desire to retain Blue Flag status is also not a reason for introducing DCOs and is further testament to the utterly revolting greed that seems to be motivating your council. It is NOT fair or democratic and it is showing an extreme bias in favour of a group who are very clearly (as the results of your consultation shows) in the minority. This is abuse of position at its most revolting.
13. The reports you have put together to support your actions are a clear manipulation of information contained within the reports you claim to have referenced and which also feature on your website. They show very clearly that dog mess and dogs on the beach are very much minority concerns for ALL holidaymakers. One report states that only 3% of those questioned were concerned by dogs on beaches. The major concerns in all the reports quoted were around expensive car parking charges and lack of toilet facilities. Your council has chosen to ignore these in favour of pursuing its own aims. Why?

Finally - a personal comment. As a former town councillor myself, may I say I am absolutely sickened by the lengths to which the council has gone to to get its own way, regardless of the great weight of public opinion opposing the proposals. I find it revolting when persons voted into positions of responsibility, through democratic processes, then choose to use those positions to attain their personal desires, and those of their friends, and to give themselves or those they favour unfair advantage over the general populace. In my opinion, St Ives council is a let-down to all honest councillors who take office with the pure intention of doing right by those who have been kind enough to vote them into office. You are an embarrassment to yourselves and to the concepts of fair and democratic government on which this country is founded. I hope that come the next round of local elections, those responsible are voted out of office and consigned to disgraced obscurity in your community.

I would be grateful if you could please ensure that your council members are made aware of the views contained in my response BEFORE they vote on the DCO proposals this evening.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Louise Dowe,

1 Attachment

Dear Penny Bunn,
 
the contents of your email of 7 November were circulated to all town
councillors prior to the council meeting later that day.
 
I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with the previous response to your
FOI request.
 
The document that you refer to as the Mark Noall report has previously
been subject to another FOI request and was not released.  The request was
subject to an internal review by the town council where that decision was
upheld.  This is now a matter that the original requestor can take up as
an appeal with the Information Commissioners Office at

 [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

 

If you wish to also appeal the decision, I suggest that you contact the
ICO direct for advice on how to go about this.

 

In view of your allegations of corruption against the council
and councillors, rather than a freedom of information request, these would
be better addressed through the town council's complaints procedure. 
Should you wish to pursue a formal complaint against the town council,
please find attached a copy of the Complaints Procedure.  If you, or
anyone, has concerns about the integrity of the town council, please note
also that meetings of the town council are open to the press and public to
attend, with minutes of meetings regularly posted on the town council's
website [2]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk.   As the beach dog control order
review was such an emotive issue, the paperwork presented to the 24
October Environment Committee was also posted on the town council website
and is available to view.

 

In closing, Cornwall continues to welcome dogs, as does St Ives.  Dogs
have not been banned from St Ives.  In St Ives they will still able to be
exercised on all beaches from 1 October to the Sunday before Easter. 

 

Between the Sunday before Easter and 30 September dogs can still be
exercised at Lambeth Walk beach and Bamaluz beach.  (or a long walk or a
short drive to year round dog-friendly beaches at Clodgy Point (St Ives),
Porkidney Sands (Lelant), Riviera and Mexico beaches (Hayle)).   During
the restricted season, dogs will still be permitted to be exercised on the
Harbour Beach in St Ives from 7pm to 8am, and on Carbis Bay beach from 5am
to 8am.

 

There are also green areas in and around St Ives where dogs may be
exercised off lead, and a good network of numerous footpaths.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Louise Dowe

 

--

 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall   TR26  2DS
tel. 01736  797840
website:  [3]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit:   [4]www.stivestic.co.uk

 

 

 

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM, Penny Bunn
<[5][FOI #132609 email]> wrote:

     Dear Louise Dowe,

     I am in receipt of your response to my query over the Mark Noall
     report and respond as follows:

     1. Since it is common knowledge that Mr Noall was the author of the
     report, you cannot claim protection of his identity as
     justification for refusing to release it.
     2. If the views of other named individuals are also included in the
     report, this problem is easily resolved through either removing or
     blacking out their names.
     3. Mr Noall's report, whether presented to the Council as a whole
     or not, was used as a basis from which to launch the current DCO
     consultation. It should therefore be released into the public
     sphere, since it has been used to influence and affect the general
     public and impacts on their rights.
     4. You quote the Human Rights Act. Under the Act, and under UK law
     in general, all people are entitled to a fair trial. This has not
     been afforded to the dog owners your council is persecuting,
     without any valid evidence for doing so. Why are you so keen to
     protect Mr Niall's rights when the rights of potentially thousands
     of dog owners have been so flagrantly disregarded?
     5. How has Mr Noall's identity been made available to the public?
     Since it appears to be common knowledge that he is the author of
     this report, I suggest that the council has failed to protect his
     identity already. I will therefore be asking the Information
     Commissioner's Office to investigate the council's handling of Mr
     Noall's report.
     6. I will be sending a complaint to the Information Commissioner's
     Office about your refusal to release this information. Particularly
     since it seems that the report was not handled in the appropriate
     manner, and fair warning was not given to Mr Noall, that if it was
     to be used as the basis for action directly affecting the general
     public, he could not necessarily expect confidentiality to be
     maintained.
     7. It seems to me that the entire basis of this consultation has
     been corrupt. I suspect that Mr Noall has used sympathetic friends
     within the Council to push forward his personal views and ensure
     that his wishes regarding beach use in St Ives are met. That is
     corruption, Ms Dowe, and it needs investigating.

     OTHER MATTERS

     Clearly, your corrupt council intends to go ahead and push these
     DCO measures through at the meeting tonight. I would therefore be
     grateful if you could make them aware of the following:

     1. Reports and complaints have already been sent on this matter to
     Defra, the Kennel Club and Dogs' Trust. At Defra's suggestion,
     these will now also be forwarded to the Local Government Ombudsman,
     with a request that he investigates this case as a matter of
     urgency.
     2. The reputation of your council, and the wider reputation of St
     Ives as a whole, has already been seriously damaged by this DCO
     consultation and should the council go ahead with the proposed
     measures, both reputations will suffer further serious damage. This
     story has already been published in several local papers and on the
     internet. I live in Nottingham, but am a stakeholder in this
     consultation since I holidayed in Cornwall for many years with my
     dogs, until DCOs started to be introduced on your coastline. A
     great many dog owners in the East Midlands have already stopped
     coming to Cornwall, since they do not wish to holiday where their
     dogs are not welcome; and the actions of St Ives Town Council have
     obviously been a point of great discussion amongst many of us over
     recent weeks. As a result of DCOs, Cornwall as a whole has already
     lost a great deal of business from dog owners - the one group who
     are likely to return to an area year after year and NOT opt to go
     abroad for their holidays. In the current economic climate, I'd
     have thought that cultivating a 'loyal' customer base would have
     been extremely important to an area that depends so heavily on
     income from its tourist trade. Given how far this consultation has
     dragged your council into disrepute, I wouldn't have thought the
     council would be keen on adding to their poor reputation by going
     ahead with these proposals.
     3. I was also in Yorkshire over the summer and spoke to many people
     there who are no longer coming to Cornwall, because they cannot
     bring their dogs. This included one couple who each owned their
     own, successful, businesses and who had been wanting to move to
     Cornwall with those businesses and their dogs. A visit to the area
     demonstrated that dogs are not welcome on most of the beaches
     there, so they had ditched their plans to relocate. Therefore,
     decisions to introduce further DCOs will not only seriously damage
     the local economy from a seasonal point of view, but also with
     regard to local business development and growth.
     4. Your council has made a mockery of the Defra guidelines, paying
     lip-service only to the public consultation which you are obligated
     to conduct. The fact that your councillors have been heard openly
     stating that the outcome of the consultation has no bearing on the
     decision they will make, testifies to the corruption of the council
     members and their contempt for public opinion and Defra guidelines.
     5. Almost 4,000 people signed a petition against the proposals and
     and almost 700 responded to your consultation opposing the
     proposals. Yet, because the council had already made up its mind to
     introduce them, the rights of those people to have their voices
     heard and their opinions respected and followed has been denied.
     Above all, this contempt for public opinion will do more damage
     than anything else to the reputation of your council; both in the
     eyes of the dog-owning public and also in the eyes of those who do
     not own dogs but who demand that those voted into positions of
     power follow ethical and legal codes of conduct.
     6. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. The results of the
     public consultation should have meant that the opinions of the
     majority should have prevailed. Your council is showing utter
     contempt for the democratic processes on which this country is
     built and around which its legal processes work.
     7. The Defra guidelines demand that any council considering
     introducing DCOs also pays attention to considering the needs of
     dog owners and their right to exercise their pets off-lead. I do
     not consider that the restrictions you had in place BEFORE this
     consultation were within those guidelines; forcing dog owners to
     use the beach at night only does not constitute showing due
     consideration for dog owners' needs. The new proposals will mean
     that dogs are effectively BANNED from St Ives and that contravenes
     the Defra guidelines, the legal obligations of dog owners AND all
     ethical and moral obligations around fairness and democracy. At
     least ONE beach should have been left open to dog owners, during
     the day, if you were to have any hope of retaining either their
     holiday-making business or to still be working within the
     requirements of the law.
     8. Under the new proposals, harbour beach would be the only one
     available to dog owners, and this would only be at night. Harbour
     beach is a very small beach, I understand, and also a working
     harbour. Therefore, by making dog owners use it at night, you are
     placing them, and their pets, in potential danger. You are also not
     complying with Defra guidelines since by no stretch of the
     imagination can a small and dangerous beach, which is available
     only at night, be considered a fair facility for dog owners' needs
     under Defra guidelines.
     9. I gather that the nearest beach to St Ives that remains free of
     DCOs is a twenty minute drive away. Again, you are flouting DCO
     requirements through not providing sufficient space for
     non-car-owning residents to exercise their dogs on the beach.
     10. Under new laws introduced a few years ago, dog owners are
     obligated to provide their dogs with appropriate exercise,
     off-lead. Your council is interfering with dog owners' legal
     obligations to fulfil their own side of the law.
     11. If you go ahead with these proposals, your council WILL find
     itself facing charges in a court of law. These are likely to be
     brought by the wider dog-owning population in the UK, not just by
     local residents in St Ives. I wouldn't have thought the council
     would want to be the subject of the unfavourable national publicity
     that this would obviously engender.
     12. The actions of your council are a perfect example of utter,
     insatiable greed. Dogs were ALREADY banned from most of your
     beaches during daylight hours, and you were therefore ALREADY in
     contravention of Defra guidelines. Clearly, it wasn't enough for
     some friends of your councillors, who want dogs banned from all
     your beaches even during the night. Your desire to retain Blue Flag
     status is also not a reason for introducing DCOs and is further
     testament to the utterly revolting greed that seems to be
     motivating your council. It is NOT fair or democratic and it is
     showing an extreme bias in favour of a group who are very clearly
     (as the results of your consultation shows) in the minority. This
     is abuse of position at its most revolting.
     13. The reports you have put together to support your actions are a
     clear manipulation of information contained within the reports you
     claim to have referenced and which also feature on your website.
     They show very clearly that dog mess and dogs on the beach are very
     much minority concerns for ALL holidaymakers. One report states
     that only 3% of those questioned were concerned by dogs on beaches.
     The major concerns in all the reports quoted were around expensive
     car parking charges and lack of toilet facilities. Your council has
     chosen to ignore these in favour of pursuing its own aims. Why?

     Finally - a personal comment. As a former town councillor myself,
     may I say I am absolutely sickened by the lengths to which the
     council has gone to to get its own way, regardless of the great
     weight of public opinion opposing the proposals. I find it
     revolting when persons voted into positions of responsibility,
     through democratic processes, then choose to use those positions to
     attain their personal desires, and those of their friends, and to
     give themselves or those they favour unfair advantage over the
     general populace. In my opinion, St Ives council is a let-down to
     all honest councillors who take office with the pure intention of
     doing right by those who have been kind enough to vote them into
     office. You are an embarrassment to yourselves and to the concepts
     of fair and democratic government on which this country is founded.
     I hope that come the next round of local elections, those
     responsible are voted out of office and consigned to disgraced
     obscurity in your community.

     I would be grateful if you could please ensure that your council
     members are made aware of the views contained in my response BEFORE
     they vote on the DCO proposals this evening.
     Yours sincerely,

     Penny Bunn

     

show quoted sections

Dear Louise Dowe,

I am in receipt of your letter.

1. I will, as you suggest, contact the Information Commissioner's Office regarding your refusal to release information that pertains to the DCO introduction in St Ives.

2. I will also be pursuing enquiries with every possible authority who may be able to investigate this matter as a whole, particularly why the council has so abused the public consultation process and chosen to discriminate against a group in society that has done absolutely nothing wrong.

3. I will be supporting any legal campaign brought, including contributing to any fundraising required. I will be encouraging others to do the same.

4. Since I've already told you I live in Nottingham, I find your suggestion that I attend your council meetings in St Ives further evidence of the arrogance and contempt with which you seem to view the general public.

5. Since you have shown yourselves incapable of behaving in a fair way during a public consultation over a matter that affects thousands of innocent dog owners, I think it highly unlikely that complaining to the council will render any satisfactory response from you.

6. I feel it is my moral duty to bring to the public's attention the fact that dogs and their owners are NOT welcome in St Ives, except when the people you 'really' want to be there (the summer holiday making families) are not visiting. This kind of discrimination against dog owners really is not acceptable and I do not see whey we should visit your coastline, and boost your economy, out-of-season when business is a little slow. I will be publicising what has happened in St Ives and discouraging others from visiting. My reason for doing so is that I would hate anyone to book a holiday there, believing they are going to be welcome on the beach with their dogs, and find when they have got there that they are not, in fact welcome at all. Many of us already live in the countryside and do not trek all the way to the coast to be relegated to the outlying countryside. We come to spend our holidays on the beach, just like everybody else.

7. On this subject, I suggest you make it clear, on all your advertising, on your website, and via ALL holiday venues in the area, that dogs are NOT welcome on St Ives beaches during holiday season. Failure to do so might put you, or local businesses, at risk of accusations of deliberate misrepresentation and legal action from furious holidaymakers who feel cheated out of their money.

8. The fact that the only beaches still open to dog owning holidaymakers are extremely difficult to get to, treacherous to try and cross and access, puts you in breach of the Human Rights Act, regarding equality in providing for disabled people. I will certainly be reporting this gross discrimination against dog-owning disabled holidaymakers to the attention of the relevant authorities.

9. My ALLEGATIONS of corruption are based on hard facts which are irrefutable. Your council has placed greed (wanting to keep your Blue Flag flying 24/7, in the erroneous belief that it will boost your holiday trade) and being heavily biased in favour of the views of ONE individual and those who supported him, ahead of your moral and ethical duty to conduct a fair and unbiased public consultation and to go with the majority view in reaching your decisions. By banning dogs from ALL accessible beaches in St Ives, even AT NIGHT, you have shown a completely intolerant attitude towards the dog-owning public and a total refusal to play fair and provide the necessary and safe space for dogs and their owners to enjoy the beach during daylight hours.

As I said before, I hope very much that those who are responsible for this gross abuse of their powers, and of the trust placed in them, are held accountable by the relevant authorities. I hope very much that those responsible are voted out of office at the next election period. I hope very much that the UK's dog-owning holidaymakers and the residents of St Ives will work together to ensure that the DCO is revoked and the rights of those you have so abused are reinstated in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Louise Dowe,

Dear Penny Bunn,
 
it is my  understanding that your Freedom of Information request has been
met, either by providing the information requested or explaining why it
could not be released.
 
Accordingly, I consider this request closed.
 
Should you consider otherwise, by all means let me know, but please be
specific and concise as this will assist any future correspondence.
 
As you have stated that you will not pursue a complaint and you have made
your views clear, there is no need for any further correspondence at this
stage.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Louise Dowe
--
 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall   TR26  2DS
tel. 01736  797840
website:  [1]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit:   [2]www.stivestic.co.uk

On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM, Penny Bunn
<[3][FOI #132609 email]> wrote:

     Dear Louise Dowe,

     I am in receipt of your letter.

     1. I will, as you suggest, contact the Information Commissioner's
     Office regarding your refusal to release information that pertains
     to the DCO introduction in St Ives.

     2. I will also be pursuing enquiries with every possible authority
     who may be able to investigate this matter as a whole, particularly
     why the council has so abused the public consultation process and
     chosen to discriminate against a group in society that has done
     absolutely nothing wrong.

     3. I will be supporting any legal campaign brought, including
     contributing to any fundraising required. I will be encouraging
     others to do the same.

     4. Since I've already told you I live in Nottingham, I find your
     suggestion that I attend your council meetings in St Ives further
     evidence of the arrogance and contempt with which you seem to view
     the general public.

     5. Since you have shown yourselves incapable of behaving in a fair
     way during a public consultation over a matter that affects
     thousands of innocent dog owners, I think it highly unlikely that
     complaining to the council will render any satisfactory response
     from you.

     6. I feel it is my moral duty to bring to the public's attention
     the fact that dogs and their owners are NOT welcome in St Ives,
     except when the people you 'really' want to be there (the summer
     holiday making families) are not visiting. This kind of
     discrimination against dog owners really is not acceptable and I do
     not see whey we should visit your coastline, and boost your
     economy, out-of-season when business is a little slow. I will be
     publicising what has happened in St Ives and discouraging others
     from visiting. My reason for doing so is that I would hate anyone
     to book a holiday there, believing they are going to be welcome on
     the beach with their dogs, and find when they have got there that
     they are not, in fact welcome at all. Many of us already live in
     the countryside and do not trek all the way to the coast to be
     relegated to the outlying countryside. We come to spend our
     holidays on the beach, just like everybody else.

     7. On this subject, I suggest you make it clear, on all your
     advertising, on your website, and via ALL holiday venues in the
     area, that dogs are NOT welcome on St Ives beaches during holiday
     season. Failure to do so might put you, or local businesses, at
     risk of accusations of deliberate misrepresentation and legal
     action from furious holidaymakers who feel cheated out of their
     money.

     8. The fact that the only beaches still open to dog owning
     holidaymakers are extremely difficult to get to, treacherous to try
     and cross and access, puts you in breach of the Human Rights Act,
     regarding equality in providing for disabled people. I will
     certainly be reporting this gross discrimination against dog-owning
     disabled holidaymakers to the attention of the relevant
     authorities.

     9. My ALLEGATIONS of corruption are based on hard facts which are
     irrefutable. Your council has placed greed (wanting to keep your
     Blue Flag flying 24/7, in the erroneous belief that it will boost
     your holiday trade) and being heavily biased in favour of the views
     of ONE individual and those who supported him, ahead of your moral
     and ethical duty to conduct a fair and unbiased public consultation
     and to go with the majority view in reaching your decisions. By
     banning dogs from ALL accessible beaches in St Ives, even AT NIGHT,
     you have shown a completely intolerant attitude towards the
     dog-owning public and a total refusal to play fair and provide the
     necessary and safe space for dogs and their owners to enjoy the
     beach during daylight hours.

     As I said before, I hope very much that those who are responsible
     for this gross abuse of their powers, and of the trust placed in
     them, are held accountable by the relevant authorities. I hope very
     much that those responsible are voted out of office at the next
     election period. I hope very much that the UK's dog-owning
     holidaymakers and the residents of St Ives will work together to
     ensure that the DCO is revoked and the rights of those you have so
     abused are reinstated in the future.
     Yours sincerely,

     Penny Bunn

     

show quoted sections

Dear Louise Dowe,

I do not know why, but your responses to my replies to you keep appearing in the middle of previous correspondence. This makes it very confusing to others viewing this request online and I would be grateful if you could look into the matter, to try and ensure the problem does not recur.

This FOIA Request is mine and it is up to me to decide when it is closed. As previously stated, I wish to check that you have, actually, provided the information requested before closing it. I may also leave it open so that the Information Commissioner may inspect the request for himself/herself.

I will contact you if any further information is outstanding from this request, apart from the Mark Noall document which as already discussed, I believe you are withholding without good reason.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Dear Louise Dowe,

This is a reminder that I am still awaiting a copy of the Mark Noall report, which was a main trigger for the introduction of an inappropriate dog ban on the St Ives beaches during summer months.

Since it is well known that Mark Noall was the author of the report, I cannot see how you can claim Data Protection as the reason for not releasing it. Regarding the names of supporters of Mr Noall, who contributed to his report, they can easily be obscured so that the document can be released to the general public.

I find it deeply suspicious that the Council and Mr Noall are trying to insist that the public waits until he has produced a report that he is happy to release to us. His original submission is the main cause of the extended DCO introduction, and therefore, since it directly affects the general public, we have a right to know its full contents (with names obscured).

If there were concerns that Mr Noall's photography business might suffer if his key role in this affair became public knowledge, I suggest that it is a little late to be worrying about that!

I look forward to receiving the report.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Louise Dowe,

Dear Penny Bunn,
 
You have previously been advised that the document requested has been
subject to an earlier Freedom of Information request and was not released
by the town council on the grounds previously cited.  The request was
subject to internal review and the decision upheld by the town council. 
 
This request is now subject to investigation by the Information
Commissioners Office, after which the ICO will determine whether the
document should be released.  If it determines that it should be, then
that is the stage at which the document would be released. 
 
With regard to assertions that the 2012 document triggered the dog control
orders, it might be worth noting that the town council had concerns
following complaints at the implementation of the current Order in 2008
and had been in discussions with the former Penwith District Council and
then Cornwall Council, calling for a review, since that time.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Louise Dowe
 
--
 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall   TR26  2DS
tel. 01736  797840
website:  [1]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit:   [2]www.stivestic.co.uk
 
On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM, Penny Bunn
<[3][FOI #132609 email]> wrote:

     Dear Louise Dowe,

     This is a reminder that I am still awaiting a copy of the Mark
     Noall report, which was a main trigger for the introduction of an
     inappropriate dog ban on the St Ives beaches during summer months.

     Since it is well known that Mark Noall was the author of the
     report, I cannot see how you can claim Data Protection as the
     reason for not releasing it. Regarding the names of supporters of
     Mr Noall, who contributed to his report, they can easily be
     obscured so that the document can be released to the general
     public.

     I find it deeply suspicious that the Council and Mr Noall are
     trying to insist that the public waits until he has produced a
     report that he is happy to release to us. His original submission
     is the main cause of the extended DCO introduction, and therefore,
     since it directly affects the general public, we have a right to
     know its full contents (with names obscured).

     If there were concerns that Mr Noall's photography business might
     suffer if his key role in this affair became public knowledge, I
     suggest that it is a little late to be worrying about that!

     I look forward to receiving the report.

     Yours sincerely,

     Penny Bunn

     

show quoted sections

Town Clerk, St Ives Town Council (Cornwall)

By way of an update, St Ives Town Council has received a copy of
the decision made with regard to this document, which had
previously been requested under a Freedom of Information Request by
another individual.

That individual had also requested that the Information
Commissioners Office review the town council&#39;s decision not to
release the document.

The ICO upheld the town council&#39;s decision and agreed that the
document should not be released. It is understood that their
decision will be published on the ICO website in due course.

It is hoped that the ICO&#39;s agreement with the decision of the
town council will give an assurance that the town council have
endeavoured to respond to these Freedom of Information requests
fairly and in accordance with the FOI Act.

Town Clerk, St Ives Town Council

Dear Town Clerk,

I am in receipt of your message.

The respondent in question is doubtless considering their options regarding appealing against the decision, or referring it upwards to another authority.

No decision has been reached on my own request and I will be dealing directly with the ICO on the matter, making my own decisions about my request as the situation progresses.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bunn

Louise Dowe,

I'll be away from my desk until 25 February, and will pick up emails upon
my return.  If urgent, please ring the office on tel 01736 797840
 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
Tel 01736 797840

--
 
Louise Dowe, Town Clerk
St Ives Town Council
The Guildhall, Street An Pol, St Ives, Cornwall   TR26  2DS
tel. 01736  797840
website:  [1]www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk
or for tourist information, visit:   [2]www.stivestic.co.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stivestowncouncil.co.uk/
2. http://www.stivestic.co.uk/

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org