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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 20 May 1997 at 4.35 pm.

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

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 April 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. WASTE DISPOSAL CHARGES - INERT MATERIAL

There was submitted Report No 555/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection examining the need to attract inert material for landscaping at the Council’s landfill sites at Lochhead, Forfar and Arrats Mill, Brechin which were nearing completion and setting out a pricing policy to encourage this type of waste into the sites.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to levy a charge of £5 per tonne plus landfill tax plus VAT, for landfilling of inert waste at the Council's waste disposal sites; and

(ii) to continue the current charge of £13 per tonne, plus landfill tax plus VAT, for landfilling industrial and agricultural waste as at present.

3. DETERMINATION OF INSPECTION FREQUENCY (TRADING STANDARDS)

There was submitted Report No 556/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking approval of a locally determined target inspection frequency to satisfy performance indicator protocol for the Accounts Commission.

The Report advised that each trading premises was assessed for risk in the fields of Consumer Safety, Fair Trading, Quality Standards and Metrology, and each given a category of high, medium or low risk depending on the type of business activity, the size of the business and what the consequences of failure to comply with legislation could mean to their customers.

Accordingly, it was proposed that the target inspection frequency for premises in Angus be as follows:-

High Risk - every 12 months

Medium Risk - every 2 years

Low Risk - every 5 years

The Committee agreed to approve the locally determined target inspection frequency detailed in the Report for Trading Standards Performance Indicator purposes.

4. IMPACT OF PENNINGTON REPORT

There was submitted Report No 557/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on the impact of the recommendations of the Pennington Group Report following upon the E Coli 0157 food poisoning outbreaks.

The Report advised that the Pennington Group Report amended the risk scoring system by adding additional points to many food businesses under the heading of "Potential Hazard". Points would be added to the score where there was a significant risk of food being contaminated with E Coli 0157 or Clostridum Botulinum.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that the increased workload placed upon the food safety staff as a result of the Pennington recommendations could not be accommodated within the existing resources without a re-ordering of inspection priorities; and

(ii) to send a copy of Report No 557/97 to the Scottish Office as part of the Council's response to the consultation on the Review of the Food Safety Codes of Practice Nos 16 and 9 currently being undertaken.

5. HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICY

There was submitted Report No 558/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection outlining a policy which would provide for a consistent approach to Health and Safety Law inspection and enforcement.

The Report advised that a working group of officers from local authorities within Fife, Tayside and Central Scotland (including Angus) had developed a policy for health and safety inspection which reflected explicit local circumstances in this area of Scotland. A copy of the policy was appended to the Report, and its implementation could be achieved using professional staff resources provided in the departmental staff structure.

The Committee agreed to adopt the policy appended to the Report in connection with the Council's role as inspection and enforcement authority in terms of the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974.

6. APPOINTMENT OF AUTHORISED OFFICERS - ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (LITTER CONTROLS)

There was submitted Report No 559/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking the authorisation of the Council for certain officers within the Department to enforce provisions in legislation dealing with litter offenders.

The Committee agreed that Angus Council, with immediate effect, authorise the Compliance Inspectors employed by the Council within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department to enforce the provisions under Section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) and the Litter (Fixed Penalty Notices) Order 1991 and to instruct the Director of Law and Administration to issue the necessary authorisations in writing.

7. PLANNING ADVICE NOTE 51 - PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 6 May 1997, the Committee approved, for its interest, Report No 447/97 by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development which outlined advice on Planning and Environmental Protection published recently in a Planning Advice Note (PAN) issued by the Scottish Office.