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Posts Tagged ‘dangerous dogs’

It was an underwhelming turnout at a Harrow council question time tonight.

 Around 30 residents turned up to the public event at Harrow Arts Centre  to quiz cabinet members on everything from tax rates to parking restrictions and dangerous dogs.

 The council have put on some ten of the events in the past, where locals are invited to submit questions to cabinet members in advance and on the night.

 Council leader, outgoing Conservative Councillor David Ashton told Stanmore Politics that it was no bad sign turnout was so low.

 “We publicise this very heavily and it’s the right thing to do,” said David Ashton.

 “But if we’re doing things wrong people would be here. We take it as a positive sign.”

 However Akil Dhalla, Conservative candidate for Wealdstone, said there could have been more publicity. “The number of people coming to these events has gone down,” he said.

 “I want the public to be involved more. The more people here, the more legitimacy the council has.”

 “I think it’s very nice that they give residents the opportunity to meet them in a more informal way” said audience-member, pensioner Barry Harris.

 Michael Burton, editor of the MJ, the management journal for local authority business, hosted the evening. He praised the session, saying: “Not many authorities do bring the cabinet out to face the public.

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Harrow residents will now need specific permission to own dogs and the council may ban them from having certain breeds.

The Times is reporting that Harrow council could evict tenants if they are found to have dangerous dogs. The dogs will also be given microchips to better survey them.

Owners of the so-called “weapon dogs” or ‘status dogs’ could be refused council housing. Existing tenants face council checks to ensure the dogs, increasingly used as weapons and appearing in cases of violence, are not causing problems to other residents.

This follows the case in November in Liverpool where a four-year-old boy was killed in an attack by an illegal pitbull; it was one of many such cases in recent years.

Councillor Susan Hall said breed is irrelevant to the plans, as decisions would be made on case by case basis. However she said crossbreeds were the main concern.

She said: “Young men are aware that they face five years’ imprisonment for carrying a knife — but they can buy a dog, use it as a weapon, and there’s no penalty at all. We need to ensure the safety of everyone who lives on our estates.”

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