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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 7 January 1997 at 4.20 pm.

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

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor IAN ANGUS.

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 November 1996 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. HIRE OF MOBILE TOILETS - CHARGES

There was submitted Report No 3/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which brought forward recommendations for increasing the hire charges of the Council’s mobile toilet units.

The Committee noted that each of the units had a separate hire cost structure to reflect the standard of the facilities provided and approved the increases in charges for hire as set out in the Report.

3. RESORT BEACH SURVEY 1996

There was submitted Report No 4/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the results of a survey of facilities and standards at UK resort beaches, which included the Angus resort beaches at Arbroath and Montrose, conducted by the Tidy Britain Group. The assessment had identified potential for improvement in a number of areas.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report and agreed to remit the matter to the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Director of Recreation Services to bring forward a further Report, in due course, identifying the cost implications and measures required to be undertaken to enable resort beaches in Angus to meet the criteria set by the Tidy Britain Group.

4. E-COLI 0157 FOOD POISONING OUTBREAK

There was submitted Report No 5/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection informing the Committee of the food hygiene guidance available in Angus to food business proprietors in the wake of the E-Coli 0157 food poisoning outbreak in Lanarkshire.

After some discussion, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to urge food business proprietors to take all possible steps to make use of the good hygiene practice advice and guidance available from Environmental Health Officers and other trade agencies and to educate food handling staff to observe best hygiene practice at all times;

(ii) to encourage the public to report hygiene breaches observed by them to the officers of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department so that cases of bad practice could be properly investigated; and

(iii) to instruct the Director to take formal action, if necessary, to ensure that all food traders complied, in full, with the requirements of the Food Safety Act.

5. PROGRESS IN MEETING DEPARTMENTAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

There was submitted Report No 6/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which advised the Committee on the progress being made in meeting the objectives in the Departmental Development Plan at the half year stage.

The Committee noted the progress made and the difficulties encountered by the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department in attempting to meet their departmental objectives.

6. APPOINTMENT OF AUTHORISED OFFICERS - CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982

There was submitted Report No 7/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking the approval of the Council for certain officers within the Department to be authorised to enforce provisions contained within the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

The Committee agreed, with immediate effect, to authorise all qualified Trading Standards Officers and Enforcement Officers employed within the Department of Environmental and Consumer Protection, to enforce the provisions of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 within the Angus Council area, and to instruct the Director of Law and Administration to issue the necessary authorisations in writing.

7. PUBLIC ANALYST

There was submitted Report No 8/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that discussions had taken place at officer level regarding the future of the administration of analytical services.

The Report advised that there was a statutory duty on each unitary authority to appoint a Public Analyst. Currently, the service was provided by way of a one year joint agreement with Dundee and Perth and Kinross until April 1997, with Dundee as lead authority, but the longer term future of the service required to be addressed.

The Committee agreed to conduct discussions with Dundee City Council and Perth and Kinross Council, at officer level in the first instance, to explore options towards longer term joint agreement on the provision of analytical services.

8. NATIONAL PET WEEK

There was submitted Report No 9/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the National Pet Week during 1997 would run from 3-7 May, the theme being "Pets Beat Stress".

The Committee agreed to support the National Pet Week by making available free posters promoting responsible pet ownership and permitting the Dog Wardens to participate actively in raising awareness by judging events as requested.

9. RECYCLING STRATEGY AND PLAN

There was submitted Report No 10/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which outlined a strategic approach to the recycling activities of the Council and prepared broad principles to be incorporated in the preparation of the Council’s Recycling Plan.

Following discussion, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to pursue a policy in waste management which would seek to provide for waste minimisation through recovery, recycling and the promotion of reuse;

(ii) to pursue a broad policy on recycling which maintained the principles of recovering wastes suitable for recycling on the basis of kerbside collections and "bring" centres and sites;

(iii) to note the economic burden placed on the Council as a consequence of market fluctuations and to instruct the Director to seek measures to redress imbalances between costs of recovery, the financial return and environmental considerations;

(iv) to instruct the Director to seek measures for the implementation of future options on recycling as set out in paragraph 8 of the Report; and

(v) to adopt the principle of providing manned recycling centres at Kirriemuir and Brechin and to upgrade or relocate the Monifieth site, all on the basis of establishing suitable sites and a bid being made for capital funding.

10. LOO OF THE YEAR AWARDS 1996

It was reported that Angus Council had received an award recognising the quality of the Superloos at Market Place, Arbroath; Church Street, Brechin; Buttermarket, Forfar; Reform Street, Kirriemuir and High Street, Montrose. The award took account of the high cleaning and maintenance standards set by staff employed at the Superloos.

The Committee congratulated staff on attaining these awards and noted that a presentation of plaques would be arranged by the Director, in consultation with the Convener.

11. HELP FOR ABANDONED ANIMALS

The Committee noted that the animal charity, Help for Abandoned Animals (Angus), had agreed to donate two puppy baskets to the Dog Warden service which would provide a more comfortable bed for any puppies coming into the care of the Dog Wardens.

The Committee expressed their thanks to the charity for the gift.

12. SEEDCRUSHERS (SCOTLAND) LIMITED - ALLEGED OFFENSIVE ODOURS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 12 November 1996, there was submitted Report No 11/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on the current position relating to complaints regarding Seedcrushers (Scotland) Limited at Hospitalfield, Arbroath. In particular, the Report urged the regulator (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), to undertake research aimed at achieving better scientific understanding of any links which could be adverse to the health of the residents.

After hearing Councillors Shand and Speirs, and after noting the action being taken by SEPA, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to urge SEPA, as regulators, (a) to identify suitable specialists and to design and instruct a research programme targeted at analysing the environmental impact of volatiles and particulate emissions from Seedcrushers plant, and (b) to attach a high priority to this research and to fund the cost from SEPA research resources; and

(ii) 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 currently being undertaken.

13. MEMBER/OFFICER GROUP DRAFT REPORTS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 10 December 1996, there was submitted Report 1049/96 by the Chief Executive, together with the Member/Officer Group draft Reports on Youth Strategy, Economic Development Strategy, Equal Opportunities Strategy, Rural Affairs Strategy, Community Regeneration Strategy and Valuing Staff.

The Committee, for its interest, noted and approved the terms of the draft Reports.