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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 18 February 1997 at 4.45 p.m.

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

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 January 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. ANNUAL TIDY SCHOOL AWARDS

There was submitted Report No 195/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the results of the Annual Tidy School Award Competition.

The Committee congratulated the winners of each category and the overall winner, Southmuir Primary School, and noted that the presentation ceremony would be held at Webster’s High School on Friday, 28 February at 2.15 pm.

3. WASTE PAPER RECYCLING

There was submitted Report No 196/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the continuing difficulties in finding reliable markets for recycled waste paper.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the continuing deterioration in the market for waste paper;

(ii) to ask the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to continue to seek new markets and outlets for waste paper and to organise a system of sorting and segregation of marketable grades of waste paper; and

(ii) to accept that, in the short term, certain grades of waste paper might require to be land filled where no identifiable outlet could be found.

4. REVIEW OF FEES AND CHARGES - WEIGHING AND MEASURING EQUIPMENT

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 24 September 1996, there was submitted Report No 197/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of proposed increased fees and charges for the testing and calibration of weighing and measuring equipment, etc, for 1997/98.

The Committee agreed that the fees and charges detailed in the schedule and appendix to the Report be adopted by the Council for introduction on 1 April 1997.

5. THE HEALTH AND SAFETY (ENFORCING AUTHORITY) REGULATIONS 1989 - PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT

There was submitted Report No 199/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection indicating that the Health and Safety Commission was proposing to amend the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1989 to clarify the allocation of enforcement responsibilities between the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the increased workload that was likely to accrue to the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department as a result of the revisions;

(ii) to ask the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to write to the Scottish Office, and to COSLA, pointing out the increased inspection workload which would be assigned to Angus Council officers as a result of the proposals and seeking a review of the division of funding between the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities; and

(iii) to respond to the consultation by sending a copy of Report No 199/97 to the Health and Safety Commission.

6. LANDFILL TAX - PAYMENTS TO TRUSTS

There was submitted joint Report No 200/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development informing the Committee that the landfill tax regime allowed site operators to off-set some of the tax liability by making payments to approved environmental bodies. These bodies had to be enrolled with ENTRUST (the Environmental Trust Scheme Regulatory Body Ltd) and the money had to be spent on an "approved object". Currently, no Angus based Trusts had registered with ENTRUST.

The Council, as a landfill operator, could contribute to such Trusts and a group of officers had been examining the issue on an informal basis. However, the landfill tax year for Angus Council ended in July 1997 and payments to Trusts/environmental bodies had to be made by that time.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that an officer group be set up to examine the implications of payment of a proportion of landfill tax to Trusts;

(ii) that the officer group report to this Committee on any future strategy which would benefit Angus directly from tax payments to Trusts operating in Angus; and

(iii) in principle, to the establishment of one or more Trusts in the Angus area and that the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development bring forward proposals to the Policy and Resources Committee.

7. E.COLI 0157 - THE PENNINGTON GROUP REPORT

There was submitted Report No 198/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection summarising the interim report and priority recommendations of the Pennington Group which had investigated the Lanarkshire E Coli 0157 outbreak.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to urge the Scottish Office to fund the research implications of the Pennington Group’s recommendations as soon as possible; and

(ii) to request the Government to make the necessary revisions to the Food Safety Act and the Codes of Practice to fully reflect the Pennington Group’s interim report recommendations.

8. E COLI 0157 - OUTBREAK AT CAIRNIE LODGE, ARBROATH

The Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection informed the Committee that the Outbreak Control Team which was investigating the E Coli 0157 outbreak at Cairnie Lodge, Arbroath would be submitting a full report in due course.

However, at this stage, he advised the Committee of the current position and expressed his appreciation of the co-opertion given by all parties involved in the matter.

The Committee noted the position.

9. SEEDCRUSHERS (SCOTLAND) LIMITED

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 7 January 1997, when it had been agreed to encourage the Consultant in Public Health Medicine (Community Disease and Environmental Health), Tayside Health Board, to publish the analysis of the outcome of the survey of consultation rates between residents of Hospitalfield and their General Practitioners, it was reported that Dr Mike Rowarth had now published his report "A Study of the Perceptions of General Practitioners on Consultation Rates Possibly Related to Oilseed Crushing Activity in Arbroath".

The Committee noted that Dr Rowarth intended to make the report public through a Tayside Health Board information release.