Agenda item

Public Open Forum

The public open forum will commence at 2.00 p.m. and the following formal business of the Council will commence at 2.30 p.m. or whenever the public open forum ends, if earlier.


Question 1


From: Katie Burris, Grantham


To: Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of the Council


SKDC have a policy and procedure for events taking place on SKDC land, on which the Boxing Day event takes place. Why have the Belvoir Hunt Plc not completed the SKDC ‘Events Application Pack’  which includes a risk assessment and liability insurance; as per your own guidelines?


In his response the Leader explained that while the event took place on land owned by SKDC the event was managed by the Belvoir Hunt. The document transferring the land to the SKDC predecessor (the Mayor Alderman and Burgesses of Grantham) included a right to use the land for horse sports. He added that the organisers were in the process of submitting the event application form to SKDC, which would include a risk assessment. It was also the responsibility of the organisers to ensure that they had the necessary public liability insurance in place and to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all involved including participants and members of the public.


Supplementary question:


On Boxing Day 2016 one of the hounds was hit by a taxi on the road. This could have been a disaster if the car had swerved into the crowd. Is this not reason enough to ensure the roads are closed and thorough risk assessment is completed? Why isn’t the road being closed?


The Leader explained that South Kesteven District Council did not have responsibility for road closures. It was the responsibility of the event organiser to apply for a road closure, which would then be determined by Lincolnshire County Council.


Question 2


From: Katie Burris, Grantham


To: Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of the Council


SKDC is supporting this event at the request of the Charter Trustees as SKDC is providing the land, barriers and SKDC equipment and staff to clean up after the event. Do the Charter Trustees have their own liability insurance or is this covered by SKDC liability insurance?


The Leader confirmed that the Council had its own public liability insurance which would respond if a claim was made against the Council as the land and property owner however it could not be held liable for the actions of others. It was a question for the Charter Trustees whether they had their own public liability insurance.


Question 3


From: Nicholas Bradley, Foston


To: Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of the Council


The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 create an offence of the failure to pick up dog mess because of the risk to public health. Who is responsible for this legal requirement and has this been addressed in the planning of the event [the meeting of the Belvoir hunt]?


In his response, the Leader stated that it was a requirement for dog owners to clean up after their dogs. Arrangements would need to be made by dog owners to pick up any fouling otherwise the owners would be liable for a fixed penalty notice. The organisers of the event would be expected to consider how it will deal with any dog fouling.


Supplementary question:


Will SKDC staff be responsible for the disinfection of the area after the event and are they aware of the requirement to use a DEFRA approved disinfectant after an animal gathering event?


The Leader responded, stating that the event did not meet the definition of an “animal gathering event” under the Animal Gatherings Order 2010 as it did not include cattle, deer, goats, sheep or pigs, therefore no specific disinfection was required.


Question 4


From: Nicholas Bradley, Foston


To: Councillor Matthew Lee, the Leader of the Council


[In respect of the Belvoir Hunt] will SKDC Environmental Health or Charter Trustees be responsible for the ‘please wash your hands after touching the animals’ signs as per the new legislation covering public health and the risk of zoonotic diseases to members of the public?


The Leader explained that the Health and Safety Executive issued guidance for preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attractions, including temporary events. The organiser had legal duties under health and safety legislation to protect visitors and would need to address this issue as part of its risk assessment.


Supplementary question:


Have the SKDC Environmental Health department been involved in this?


Anyone seeking to hold an event on the Council’s land could contact the Environmental Health Team for advice but it is the responsibility of organisers to ensure that any necessary measures were in place.


Question 5


From: Chris Noon, Grantham


To: Councillor Ray Wootten


SKDC regulations require an application for a temporary event notice. One of the stipulations being: serving alcohol to members of a private club. I would consider the Mayor serving alcohol to the Belvoir Hunt ‘members of a private club.’ The Belvoir Hunt also collects charity money in buckets. They also require a street collection licence as per SKDC regulations. Therefore, will the Charter Trustees be responsible for applying for the event notice and the street collection licence as they are hosting the event by invitation to the Belvoir Hunt and its supporters.


Councillor Ray Wootten responded to the question, stating that a temporary event notice was not required for this event because the supply of alcohol was free of charge and not restricted to members of the hunt. He added that an application did need to be made for a street collection licence, which could be done free of charge by submitting an online form. After the event the charity or organisation would need to submit a return showing the amounts collected and any expenses incurred.


He confirmed that an application for a street collection licence had been received that morning [22 November 2018].


Supplementary question:


Who has applied for the street collection licence? And who do I approach to get a copy of it?


Councillor Wootten stated that the application for a street collection licence had been submitted by the Belvoir Hunt; anyone wanting to view a copy of the application could ask the Council.


Question 6


From: Chris Noon, Grantham


To: Councillor Linda Wootten


The Boxing Day Hunt Meet is described as an ‘event’ in which the dogs are not ‘working or being used for sporting purposes.’ Therefore, the legislation covering the ‘Control of Dogs Order 1992’ and the exemption in the Act of not being required to wear a collar or lead do not apply.


Therefore, the dogs are dangerously ‘out of control in a public place’ as per the ‘Dangerous Dogs Act’ which states ‘your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it; injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them.’ Is SKDC or the Charter Trustees taking responsibility for this risk?


Councillor Linda Wootten stated that under the Control of Dogs Order 1992 there was a further exemption under 2(a) for “any pack of hounds”, so they were specifically exempted from the requirements to wear a collar with ID while in a public place. It was the responsibility of event organisers to have health and safety arrangements in place to control risks.


Supplementary question:


Have SKDC or the Charter Trustees done their own risk assessment or taken this into consideration and who do we approach to get a copy of it?


In response to the supplementary question, Councillor Linda Wootten responded that the Council had not undertaken its own risk assessment however the Belvoir Hunt had informed the Council that it would be submitting an event application form, alongside which a risk assessment had to be supplied.


Clarification was made that, to request to review a copy of the risk assessment following its submission, contact could be made through the Chief Executive.