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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 11 November 1997 at 4.20 pm.

Present: Councillors STEWART MOWATT, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, GEORGE ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, IAN ANGUS, WILLIAM CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, RICHARD SPEIRS, and THOMAS I N YOUNG.

Apologies Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors Stewart McGlynn and David Selfridge.

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 September 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. ALUMINIUM FOIL COLLECTION

There was submitted Report No 1137/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that an opportunity had arisen for the Council to work in partnership with the voluntary sector in re-cycling aluminium foil containers used to deliver Meals on Wheels.

The Report advised that over 70,000 Meals on Wheels were delivered each year in Angus and this initiative could represent a worthwhile contribution to the community materials re-cycling total.

The Committee thanked the WRVS for this opportunity and agreed to note the contents of the Report.

3. WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES - CURRENT SITUATION

There was submitted Report No 1140/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the recent advances in securing waste disposal facilities for the future.

The Report advised that financial closure had now been reached with the partners in the Baldovie Waste to Energy PFI and the project was now due to move into the construction phase. It was also noted that SEPA had agreed Waste Management Licence conditions with the Council which would allow for Phase 1 of the Restenneth Landfill Site project to proceed. This would allow the Council to provide a landfill facility to replace the current Lochhead Landfill site by May 1998.

The Committee noted the timescales for the development of future waste disposal facilities and agreed that a draft Strategy Report be placed before the Committee during Spring 1998.

4. REFUSE AND WASTE PAPER COLLECTION ARRANGEMENTS - CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENTS

There was submitted Report No 1138/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that due to staff holidays within Contract Services (Cleansing) the rota for collections over the festive period required to be altered.

The Committee agreed to approve the adjusted rota for refuse and waste collections over the festive period, and noted that the majority of householders would miss only one collection at this time.

5. THE SALE OF SECOND HAND MOTOR VEHICLES

There was submitted Report No 1136/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of developments in protecting consumers who purchased second hand cars.

The Report advised that loopholes in the current law were making it extremely difficult to stop second hand dealers who did not trade fairly, and the Trading Standards profession supported new powers being issued to improve protection for consumers.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to support the proposal that motor auctions be licensed under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, and to request COSLA to raise this matter with the appropriate Government Ministers; and

(iii) to refer the Report to the Civic Licensing Committee for its potential future interest.

Councillor Young declared an interest in the undernoted item and took no part in its consideration.

6. WASTE MANAGEMENT LICENCES - APPEALS

There was submitted Report No 1141/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising members that SEPA were now issuing Waste Management Licences prescribing conditions to be placed on the operation of Angus Council’s waste disposal and re-cycling facilities and that there was a right of appeal to the Secretary of State which could be activated if the Council did not agree with the conditions proposed.

The Convener reported that, since the Report has been prepared, the Director had had further discussions with officers of SEPA and it was likely now that some of the proposed conditions would be adjusted to allow single employee operation.

After some discussion, the Committee noted the current position and agreed that the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection lodge appeals with the Secretary of State regarding the undernoted conditions if he deemed this to be necessary:-

(i) the need prescribed by SEPA for artificial lighting to be installed at all unmanned civic amenity sites;

(ii) the need prescribed by SEPA for two employees to be on duty at all times when the Re-cycling Centres were open to the public;

(iii) the need prescribed by SEPA for two employees to be on duty when the Waste Transfer Stations were being operated; and

(iv) the limits prescribed by SEPA of 50M3 Waste (no more than two skips at any one time) stored at the Burgh Civic Amenity Sites at Kirriemuir and Brechin.

7. FIREWORK SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 1139/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of new Regulations aimed at improving firework safety, some of which had come into effect on 15 October 1997, and highlighting some of the concerns of Enforcement Officers at this time of year.

The Committee noted that the new Regulations regarding firework safety would come fully into effect on 31 December 1997 and otherwise noted the contents of the Report for its interest.

8. HOUSEHOLD WASTE LEFT OUTWITH WHEELED BINS

There was submitted Report No 1142/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection informing the Committee that the guidelines for the use of the wheeled bin system now required to be reiterated as there was a trend towards refuse being presented for collection in sacks and bags outwith the wheeled bins.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report and supported the Director in seeking co-operation from Angus householders in presenting all their waste within the wheeled bins according to the rules agreed at the commissioning of the service.

9. 1998/99 REVENUE BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1159/97 by the Director of Finance advising the Committee of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the Departmental 1998/99 Revenue Budget and associated issues. An Appendix to the Report summarised the Departmental Provisional Base Budget for 1998/99 as submitted to the Director of Finance.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report for its interests; and

(ii) to note that more detailed Reports with specific recommendations would be brought forward later in the budget cycle.

The following item was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as urgent business due to the need for action to restrict the availability of these pens.

10. LASER PENS

The Convener expressed his concern and regret that the Government had not introduced a blanket ban, as called for by the Institute of Trading Standards Administration, on the sale of laser pens, which had been used in a series of incidents and presented a danger to the public.

Following discussion, the Committee expressed its concern and agreed that the Government should be pressed to introduce a ban on the sale of laser pens as soon as possible.

11. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order No. 27(2), that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following item so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of paragraph 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraph 1.

12. ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION DEPARTMENT - TRADING STANDARDS SECTION - RESTRUCTURING

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 21 October 1997, there was submitted Joint Report No 1079/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Director of Personnel regarding a proposed restructuring of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department’s Trading Standards Section to harmonise geographical operational areas within the Department and to address staff recruitment and retention problems.

The Committee, for its interest, approved the terms of the Report.