Petition to: take action to protect residents and their children and pets from foxes which are becoming an increasing menace in many parts of Westminster, including the Queen's Park and St John's Wood areas.

This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to take action to protect residents and their children and pets from foxes which are becoming an increasing menace in many parts of Westminster, including the Queen's Park and St John's Wood areas. More details

Petition update from the council, 19 April 2012

Petition Response from the Operational Director of Premises Management

Date sent: 19th April 2012

Westminster City Council has considered the petition raised by Councillor Dimoldenberg which relates to ‘increasing menace ‘ caused by fox activity in many parts of the City, and in particular within the Queen’s Park and St John’s Wood wards. It recognises that a number of residents are concerned by fox activity close to their homes. In response to this concern, the City Council has, in recent months, worked to both improve advice provided to residents, and to identify any local ‘hotspots’ of activity for action.

Much publicity has been given to the issue of urban foxes in recent years, particularly since 2010 when two children were badly bitten by a fox in Hackney. Although the number of such incidents nationally is very low, the publicity associated with them has had a considerable impact on public perception. Whilst many people continue to view urban foxes as a welcome addition to urban wildlife, others want them to be trapped and removed. The area covered by the City Council is no different to any other local authority area in this respect.

Foxes are not recognised in statute as either pests or vermin, and therefore there is no statutory responsibility placed on the City Council to undertake any form of fox control. Foxes on private land are a private issue so far as the law is concerned. The City Council’s role is therefore limited to one of advice to those residents for whom foxes are a cause of concern, seeking to eliminate ‘harbourage’ and sources of food for foxes from its own estate, and encouraging other landowners to do likewise.

The City Council has recently updated advice available to residents, which is available on its website at http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/environment/pestsandnuisance and also on telephone enquiry to the Council. This information advises on ways to deter fox populations from settling and thriving in residential neighbourhoods. It also provides practical advice on the steps that can be taken in and around the home to deter fox activity, and provides links to specialist fox control companies operating in London, the Fox Deterrence helpline, and other wildlife groups who have developed expertise in fox control over the years.

The City Council has also worked to improve the quality and consistency of advice given in response to telephone enquiries. Calls into the Council are now being monitored to identify any ‘hotspots’ of local activity. Three telephone enquiries in respect of fox nuisance have been received since January of this year.

Where local areas are identified as ‘hotspots’ for activity, the Council’s Pest Control Service will work with Environmental Health and Street Management services to investigate. Where waste disposal from either commercial or residential premises is identified as a problem, this will be dealt with by the appropriate service. We will also leaflet drop the area to ensure residents are aware of the steps they can take to minimise fox populations within their own gardens. The Pest Control Service has recently leaflet dropped on a number of streets in the Queen’s Park ward as a result of this petition.

The City Council also continues to work with City West Homes and the Parks Service to deal with instances where gardens or structures are providing harbourage within estates or park areas. We also remain confident that our current approach to fox control provides informed and accurate advice to residents. We will continue to monitor local areas for significant rises in activity and will address any specific issues within the City Council’s remit as they arise.

More details from petition creator

Over the past few months an increasing number of residents have been experiencing difficulties with foxes which are making life difficult, particularly for those residents with young children and pets. Some residents are unable to let their children play unattended in the garden or to allow their pet dogs to exercise for fear that they may be attacked. The Council's standard response is that nothing can be done because foxes are not classed as 'pests'.

Current signatories

Paul Dimoldenberg, the petition creator, joined by:

  • Kris Musikant
  • Angela Frangakis
  • Irene Gee
  • Clare Lees
  • Sue Shamash
  • Meril Stewart (Mrs)
  • elizabeth peltz
  • Carolyn Balcombe
  • Vero Benei
  • Elaine Kehoe
  • Kirstie Kehoe
  • Christopher Kehoe
  • Edward Kehoe
  • Michael Lawrence
  • Peter Kehoe
  • Simon kehoe
  • David Woodgate
  • Mia Faggetter
  • Anne Evans
  • Michelene Hinkson
  • Sarah Weavers
  • Elaine Rizzo
  • Kevin Flynn
  • Christopher Weston
  • Radmila Vujnovic
  • Sally Kattan
  • Genevieve Cooper
  • Carolyn Wilden
  • V Brunt
  • Joann Brislan
  • Yazmine
  • director
  • mary musungay
  • lucky
  • Mrs Cooper
  • Simon Daniels
  • Margaret Knight
  • Tom Duff Gordon
  • Andrew Temple
  • Luke Tozer
  • M Gifford
  • Alex Bayley
  • Richard Gay
  • Simon Sacerdoti
  • Elliot Arwas
  • Bob Shemtob
  • G Falter
  • Viviane Ettinghausen
  • Daniel Ettinghausen
  • Dinara Kenessarina-Karava
  • Sarah Anderson
  • Amy Rynehart
  • Clare Ettinghausen
  • Patrick Copeland
  • Richard Martin
  • Caroline Harper
  • Dima Khayatt
  • Michelle Shemtob
  • Anthony Walters
  • Patrick Gifford
  • robert seok
  • Frances
  • Jane Cope
  • Christophe Virazels
  • Anne Godfrey
  • Lucy Shay
  • Patricia Thomson
  • Patricia Usick
  • Holly Collier
  • mary lawrence
  • Charlotte Polny
  • Suzanne Magnus
  • Charles Shamash
  • Joanna Franks
  • Bradley Goldenberg
  • Angela Franks
  • shereen al-mulla
  • zeina hurst
  • paula leigh
  • John Moorhead