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New animal welfare regulations in force

Puppies

A new law covering licenses for various animal welfare activities has come into force across the district.

Following the adoption of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, Blaby District Council will license and regulate the following animal-related activities across the local area:

Dog breeding
Boarding of dogs and cats
The sale of animals as pets
The hiring of horses
Exhibiting animals

The new regulations will tighten restrictions on many areas, including the breeding industry to ensure newborn puppies are in safe and appropriate conditions.

The dog breeding regulations also ban the breeding of dogs whose state of health, genetic make-up (genotype) and/or physical characteristics (phenotype) would be damaging to its own health or the health of its offspring.

Anyone keeping or training animals for exhibition is now a licensable activity, with inspections of conditions required. This replaces the previous law, where only a registration to the County Council was needed.

Providing boarding for cats and dogs has also been amended. This replaces an act first implemented in the 1960s and splits boarding into kennels, catteries, home boarding and day care.

The regulations place specific licensable conditions depending on the boarding being provided by the license holder.

The sale of animals as pets has been updated specifically to include online sales, and will apply to those who don’t have premises, such as a pet shop.

A star-rating system has been introduced to see how a premises is ranked following an inspection. Rated on a scale of 1-5 stars, the system will work as follows:

1 star – Operating legally with minor failings
2-3 stars – Complying with standard conditions
4-5 stars – Meeting higher standards

Residents are encouraged to look at reviews and see any premises for themselves, in addition to reviewing the star rating system.

Animal Services officers at the Council will work with current license holders, as well as those who may fall under the new regulations to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare across the district.

More information on the new law and requirements for a license can be found by visiting www.blaby.gov.uk/dogs, or call 0116 272 7555.

[Source/Image: Blaby District Council Communications]

Braunstone man sentenced for sexual abuse

Photo: Scales of Justice

A 54-year-old man from Braunstone has been jailed for child sexual abuse at Leicester Crown Court.

Michael Anderson of Webster Road, Braunstone, appeared on Tuesday 16th October, where he pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was sentenced to 32 months imprisonment, ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and issued with a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He was also issued with a life-long restraining order against the aggrieved.

Anderson, met his victim in 2012 when she was 11 years old and set about befriending her over a number of years.

He bought her sweets, clothes and gave her cigarettes, making out he was someone she could talk to and rely on.

When his victim turned 13, his behaviour towards her changed, becoming predatory. His comments became more personal and he instigated sexual activity with her.

Detective Constable Rebekah Cortez, the investigating officer, said: “Anderson knew exactly what he was doing when he set out to manipulate and take advantage of a child.

“He preyed upon his victim showing no concern for her age or vulnerability.

“The victim lived with the nightmare of what had happened to her for a number of years before she felt able to disclose her ordeal to a teacher.

“I must commend her bravery to reach out and report Anderson’s behaviour to police and I sincerely hope that following today’s outcome she will now begin to move forward with her life.”

Leicestershire Police works in partnership with a number of agencies committed to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).

If you think you are a victim of CSE, or know someone who may be a victim, advice and information on who to speak to can be found by visiting https://leics.police.uk/advice-and-information/information-zone/child-sexual-exploitation

[Source: Leicestershire Constabulary | https://leics.police.uk]

New licensing regulations for multiple tenant landlords

Valuations

New national regulations have widened the licensing requirements for landlords with Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the district.

Previously, mandatory licensing of a HMO was required if there were five or more persons not forming a single household in a three storey property. The amendment to the Housing Act 2004 no longer takes into account the number of storeys within the property.

Under the Housing Act, a HMO is defined as a “building or flat where the basic facilities are shared, such as a bathroom, kitchen or toilet, by persons who do not “live” together as one household.”

The change in the law has been introduced to ensure HMOs are protected and properly managed. Blaby District Council has prosecuted two landlords in 2018 for properties posing a risk to tenants. Licenses for HMOs are issues by the Council. A new five-year licence will cost landlords a total of £794.93, with renewals £679.76.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “This amendment to the Housing Act is an important change, giving powers for our Environmental Health team to scrutinise and ensure houses of multiple occupancy are in an acceptable condition. Recent prosecutions have shown that, unfortunately, some landlords have little regard for the conditions their tenants live in.

“We strongly encourage anyone, whether a landlord or a tenant, to get in touch to check whether a property needs a licence. We will continue our hard work to ensure every property in the district meets required standards.”

Information about the new regulations for licensing houses of multiple occupancy is available on the Council’s website by visiting www.blaby.gov.uk/hmo. Landlords or tenants wanting to find out more can also email environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7555.

Be a Councillor event to be held in Narborough

Be a Councillor
An event showcasing the role of a councillor for prospective candidates in the run up to next year’s district elections is taking place at the end of October.

Blaby District Council, holding the first event in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council, Oadby & Wigston Borough Council and Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council as part of the nationwide initiative to encourage potential community leaders in standing as a councillor.

The Prospective Councillor Event takes place on Saturday 27 October from 10am-12pm at Blaby District Council offices, Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP

The event is designed to find out what it takes to become a local councillor. Councillors come from all walks of life, age groups and backgrounds, and play a key role in shaping the future of their local communities.

Anyone with a genuine interest in what happens in Blaby District, and who want to represent their local community is welcome to come along to find out more. There is no requirement to be a member of a political party to attend.

With District Elections for the 2019-2023 term on Thursday 02 May 2019, residents will have the opportunity to find out more about all aspects of being a Councillor including

  • The nomination process and standing for election
  • The role of a Councillor – what is expected
  • Support available from the Council, including allowances and training

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: “This event, including the ones being held around the County will provide an ideal opportunity for those interested in representing their community as a local councillor.

“We will highlight what life as a councillor is like and the positive difference you can make to your community, and we look forward to welcoming you to the event.”

Additional events will be held across the County and in early 2019 for anyone unable to attend the 27 October event.

For more information, including the full programme of events, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/councillor-event. or contact Melanie Long on 01530 454511 or email melanie.long@nwleicestershire.gov.uk.

Further events being held across the County:
Tuesday 6th November 2018, 6pm – 8pm at Melton Borough Council, Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1GH
Saturday 10th November 2018, 10am – 12pm or 12:30pm – 2:30pm at the Council Chamber, Rutland County Council, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6HP
Saturday 17th November 2018, 10am – 12pm, Charnwood Borough Council – Council Offices, Southfield Road, LE11 2TX

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]

District leaders pledge to continue to work together

Blaby District Council logo

The leaders of all seven district councils have today unanimously agreed to continue working together to review the current model of local government in Leicestershire.

The leaders of Blaby, Charnwood, Melton, Oadby and Wigston, North West Leicestershire, Harborough and Hinckley and Bosworth councils, said in a joint statement: “The district councils are continuing to work together to look at future service delivery in Leicestershire to ensure it is lean, effective and in touch with residents.

“Any potential changes need to be based on a thorough assessment of all options and backed by evidence and communities.

“The district councils will ensure residents, partners and stakeholders are involved in the conversation and fully consulted. The needs of our residents will be put first.”

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]