Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath (TO FOLLOW).
Members considered a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath providing Members with an update regarding the introduction of a Code of Conduct for Dog Walkers and a Licensing Scheme for Professional Dog Walkers to regulate this commercial activity using the powers available through the City of London Corporation (Open Spaces) Act 2018. The Superintendent now seeks wider discussion and engagement with Members on the draft Dog Walkers Code of Conduct, Professional Dog Walker Application Form and accompanying Terms & Conditions.
The Chair thanked Members for their feedback throughout development of the scheme which hit the news this week. Members were advised that their feedback would be included in the final versions of these documents for consideration by the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee at their November meeting. Following approval, the licences would be implemented and go live in April 2021.
A Member (London Council for Recreation and Sport) noted that there was nothing regarding the number of times a dog walker could come onto the land per session. Officers confirmed the finer detail of the terms and conditions would be presented to the HHMC including the implications of the am/pm session and how this impacted dog walkers and their income. Members regarded four to be a sensible number.
A Member (Hampstead Conservation Area Advisory Committee) queried why the low limit of 20 licences had been set. Members were advised that 20 licences equated to 800 professional dogs per day whereas 30 licences would be 1,200 professional dogs. The decision was made to start smaller on the side of caution and increase if appropriate.
A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) recommended that wording be included in the Code to state that dogs should be kept on leads in all sports areas.
In response to a query with regards to there being no limit on the number of dogs a non-professional walker could bring, Officers confirmed that all dogs needed to be kept under control and all dog walkers would be monitored with the potential for the implementation of further limitations if necessary.
With regards to the suggested excluded dog walking areas in Appendix 1, a Member felt that this list needed to be exhaustive and include all temporarily fenced of f environmental areas.
RESOLVED – That Members:-
· Provide feedback Draft Dog Walkers Code of Conduct (Appendix 1);
· Provide feedback on the Draft Professional Dog Walkers Licence Application Form (Appendix 2);
· Provide feedback on the Draft Professional Dog Walkers Licence Application, Terms and Conditions (Appendix 3);
· Provide feedback on the proposal to limit the number of dogs for a Professional Dog Walker, as set out in paragraph 16 and 17;
· Views are sought from this committee on the maximum numbers of dogs that can be walked under one person control (para. 3);
· Views are sought from this committee on the number of licences which can be issued for AM and PM sessions (para. 30).