Skip to main content

Inaugural meeting of the Peckham Rye Responsible Dog Owners Association


On Saturday morning I went along to the first meeting of the Peckham Rye Responsible Dog Owners Association (PRRDOA).  This is a group set up by local dog owners who were concerned that their voice  was not being heard loud and clear.  Local residents Dave Hardy and Nick Simpson in particular have been leading the way in getting this group organised.
 
In truth, the catalyst for this group hasn’t been a wholly positive issue.  The council recently launched a survey across the borough to collect residents views about dog related issues in parks and green spaces.  I think everyone now accepts that the wording of some of the questions could have been better.  As a result, dog owners in Peckham Rye clearly felt that there was a need to get their views across to the council via a new group.

But positive things often come out of these situations.  There were at least 50 dog owners in the Clock House Pub – an excellent turnout for a Saturday morning.  The meeting was really constructive and lots of good ideas were discussed about how to improve things for local dog walkers and park users more generally.  Nick Simpson set out very clearly the aims of the group and emphasised that they wanted to encourage responsible dog ownership and walking. The PRRDOA is keen to ensure members keep dogs on leads in the designated areas and that people clear up dog mess.  Nick said he wanted the group to be a body that the council could talk to (and vice versa) about dog walking in the park.  He also said that some felt that a small minority of irresponsible owners had given the vast majority an undeserved bad name.  He wanted that to stop and for people to recognise that dog walkers are an important group of park users. 

I spoke briefly to ensure that people knew the position of the Peckham Rye Labour Councillors. On dog control areas in the park, we feel that the balance is currently about right and we don’t think they should be extended.  We also want to ensure that there is proper enforcement regarding keeping dogs on leads and clearing up mess, but that this needs to be done in a polite and respectful manner. There has been some concern about the way dog owners are sometimes spoken to by council staff.

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, our excellent Cabinet Member with responsibility for parks, also came along and spoke.  Barrie said that he didn’t think there was a particular problem with dogs in Peckham Rye Park.  Barrie also said that the council took its responsibility to ensure safety and cleanliness in parks (and on streets) very seriously and that the survey was an attempt to gather views on this.  Barrie also said he recognised there might be some issues with the survey and that the results would be looked at with this in mind. 

There was then a lively discussion which included suggestions for future activities including meet ups in the park, a “poo pick up” session and the the flagging of dog mess the highlight it and ensure it’s picked up. 

Nick Simpson is going to be circulating the official minutes of the meeting soon and is also in the process of setting up a website.  Nick and others are also going to meet directly with Barrie and council officers to get into the detail of some of the issues discussed.  I’m also going to get hold of some stats on dog related incidents in Peckham Rye and send them to the group.  Victoria, Renata and I look forward to coming along to future meetings and keeping up the dialogue with PRRDOA.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Know Your Ryes!

A few weeks ago I was in a meeting with some local residents and council officers. During the meeting one person started referring to Rye Lane, when in fact they meant Peckham Rye East. Later on another started talking about Peckham Rye Common and it took us a little while to work out that they really meant Peckham Rye Park.  
You can't really blame people for getting a little confused. There are so many references to "Rye" in our little bit of South London that even the locals can get mixed up. So I thought I'd have a go at writing a little glossary of all the Ryes hereabout.  Clearly I'm making a rod for my own back here, so please point out any errors I've made in the comments box below. 
Anyway, here are my definitions of the ubiquitous Ryes. Some serious, some not so serious, and in no particular order:
Peckham Rye Ward - The council ward area. Peckham Rye Ward was created out of Rye Ward, Waverley Ward and Bellenden Ward following the Local Authority Bo…

Free schools: A project cooked up by Tories who claim to be committed to social mobility has failed our children

(This post from Victoria about the closure of 'Southwark Free School', first appeared on LabourList.)

Last week saw the demise of yet another free school. Southwark Primary, which opened four-and-a-half-years ago in temporary buildings, will hastily close by February half-term never having made it to its permanent site, after being developed at great public expense. As Southwark council steps in to pick up the pieces and find places for children at other local schools it is difficult not to grind the axe about the government’s free school programme. We remain pragmatic that the programme is here to stay. However the government must reconsider the need for free school applicants to have a local and outstanding educational experience. At a time when many areas are experiencing a shortage of school places, and schools’ budgets are being cut, they must also stop wasting money building schools where there is no established demand. The story of free schools in Southwark makes clear …

Salt giveaway details

Southwark Council is giving away salt at the locations below. Click on the image to enlarge it.