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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 13 January 1998 at 4.00 pm.

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

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

 

1. MR JERVIS BROWNE

The Convener advised the Committee that Mr Jervis Browne, an employee within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department, had been appointed Principal Environmental Health Officer (Food Safety) and was now responsible for leading both food safety and health and safety inspection within the Department.

The Committee congratulated Mr Browne on his appointment.

2. 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 item 3 so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of paragraph 8 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

3. TENDERS

(a) Vehicle Purchasing - Minibuses

There was submitted Report No 18/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on tenders received for the supply of two minibuses.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to note the tenders received; and

(ii) to authorise acceptance of the lowest tender for the supply of two minibuses (IVECO 40.10 van with conversion), being that submitted by A M Philip Limited, Muiryfaulds, by Forfar, in the amount of £26,650 each, giving a total cost of £53,300.

(b) Restenneth Landfill Development - Engineering Works Phase 1

There was submitted Report No 19/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on tenders received for the construction and civil engineering works required to effect Landfill Works Phase 1 at Restenneth Landfill Site near Forfar.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to authorise acceptance of the lowest tender for the prescribed works, being that submitted by I & H Brown, in the amount of £637,238.78; and

(ii) to approve the order of the required fill materials from Messrs John Fyfe for a sum not exceeding £110,000.

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 November 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

5. AUTOMATIC PUBLIC CONVENIENCES (APCs)

There was submitted Report No 20/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which examined the level of use made of APCs in Angus and considered the possible discontinuation of these facilities at certain sites. The Report also recognised the need to develop a Council policy on APCs.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to discontinue APCs on the current locations at Brechin Park, Davidson Park, Kirriemuir and Hillside Park on the basis that this would achieve budget savings of £40,500 in the year 1998/99 and subsequent years, and that funding to meet the termination of the lease contract costs of £102,295 could be met from a successful application under the Government’s "Spend to Save" Scheme; and

(ii) to ask the Director to bring forward, in due course, a policy on the provision of APCs in Angus, based on the broad criteria outlined in the Report, but to accept that, in the current financial climate, the Council should discontinue its policy of providing any further APCs and review the use of existing APCs.

6. SAFETY OF LASER POINTERS

There was submitted Report No 21/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which outlined some of the hazards associated with the misuse of laser pointers and gave some details of the actions taken by local authorities to tackle the problem.

The Report advised that five outlets in Angus had been found to have supplied or were still supplying these items, and suspension notices under the Consumer Protection Act had been served on two traders to prevent further supply. These traders had been requested to return the products to the wholesaler/importer to avoid further action by the Department.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report for its interest.

7. DISPOSAL OF ASBESTOS - LOCHHEAD LANDFILL SITE

There was submitted Report No 22/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising members that, due to the imminent completion of landfill at the Lochhead site, it was proposed that no further asbestos deposit take place there. Only small quantities of asbestos had been deposited over the years and an alternative site for such deposit was available in Angus.

The Committee agreed to terminate the disposal of asbestos waste at Lochhead Landfill site.

8. WASTE DISPOSAL CHARGES

There was submitted Report No 23/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which proposed that the waste disposal charges for landfill be increased by 6% as from 1 April 1998.

The Committee agreed to revise the charges for waste disposal to landfill as follows:-

(i) inert material - increase from £5 per tonne to £5.30 per tonne; and

(ii) commercial/industrial material - increase from £13 per tonne to £13.80 per tonne.

9. FOOD SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 24/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection indicating that the Government had reacted to the recent recommendations of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) by drafting legislation to ensure that beef was de-boned prior to sale to the consumer and to prevent the sale of bones and their use in the preparation of food.

The Report noted that the enforcement of these regulations would be undertaken by Environmental Health Officers during the normal process of the programmed inspection of food premises.

The Committee agreed that the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, through the Department’s staff, inform the butchery trade, caterers, etc of their responsibilities in terms of the Beef Bones Regulations 1997.

10. NEW PETROLEUM LEGISLATION

There was submitted Report No 25/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the Health and Safety Commission had proposed new arrangements to control the storage and dispensing of petrol which would have the effect of reducing controls on safety and reducing the income Angus Council received from the existing licensing function.

The Report advised that COSLA had also highlighted the loss of income from licence fees and expressed fears that, in the current budgetary climate, proactive inspection activity by Local Authority Officers could reduce, thus affecting the present level of public safety.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report and endorse the comments made by officers of the Department in response to consultation on new petroleum legislation by the Health and Safety Commission; and

(ii) to ask the Director of Law and Administration to write to COSLA enclosing the Report and expressing the Committee’s concerns, and copy her letter to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

11. CAMPAIGN TO CATERERS ON SEVERE FOOD ALLERGIES

There was submitted Report No 26/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was conducting a campaign aimed at raising awareness of severe food allergies in catering establishments.

The Report proposed that a local focus to the campaign be promoted and that Environmental and Consumer Protection staff would issue a leaflet to caterers on the types of food which could cause allergies, when inspecting food businesses.

The Committee agreed to support the campaign to raise awareness by caterers of the dangers of allergy illness.

12. "LOO OF THE YEAR" AWARDS

The Committee was advised of the Council’s success in achieving a number of awards in the national "Loo of the Year Awards" sponsored by the Tourist Boards of England, Wales and Scotland.

In the municipal category Angus had received the following awards:

 

West Links, Arbroath - Area Award
Buttermarket, Forfar - Area Award
Town House, Montrose - Area Award
Reform Street, Kirriemuir - Area Award
Church Street, Brechin - Area Award
Market Place, Arbroath - Commended

The Committee congratulated the staff involved and noted that Angus Council had maintained its position as an award winner and had now been placed within the "Top Twenty" authorities in the UK providing consistently high standards of public toilets.

13. HIRE OF MOBILE TOILETS - CHARGES

There was submitted Report No 27/98 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 agreed to approve the increase in charges for the hire of the Council’s mobile units as set out in the Report, with effect from 1 April 1998.

14. SUPPLY OF COUNCIL VEHICLES - STANDARDISATION

There was submitted Report No 28/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking the Council’s agreement to the procurement, by tender, of vehicles from an approved list of vehicle types and makes.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that the undernoted select list of types and makes of vehicles be procured by tender:-

(a) Car based vans

makes - Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Combo

fuelling - diesel

options - CRT exhaust systems.

(b) Medium vans, minibuses, small trucks and pickups

makes - Ford Transit long wheel base or Iveco 40.10 or 45.10

fuelling - diesel

options - CRT exhaust systems.

(c) Tractors (ground maintenance)

makes - Fermec or Massey Ferguson

fuelling - diesel

(ii) that the select list of approved vehicle makes recommended in the Report be the subject of Committee review every three years, or sooner as deemed necessary by the Director; and

 

(iii) that tenders for vehicle makes as recommended in the Report be invited on a UK basis, but that tenders for special body builds to minibuses, pickups, vans and small trucks be limited to Scotland.

The following matter was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency, due to the public inquiry which was about to take place. Councillor Young declared an interest and took no part in the discussion.

15. PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE OPERATION OF SEEDCRUSHERS PLANT AT ELLIOT INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, ARBROATH

Councillor Ian Angus proposed the following motion in connection with the forthcoming Public Inquiry into the operation of the Seedcrushers plant at Elliot Industrial Estate, Arbroath:-

"Angus Council:-

(i) calls on the Inquiry Reporter to ensure that the remit of the forthcoming public inquiry remains sufficiently wide as to cover all aspects of the plant's operation;

(ii) believes that full public scrutiny of the issues involved, including the storage of rape seed in residential areas, could only be achieved by examining all of the available evidence, including the impact of emissions on the local environment, the scope of SEPA’s statutory powers and the resources available to the agency in exercising its powers."

The Committee unanimously agreed to approve the motion and instructed the Director of Law and Administration to write to the Inquiry Reporter conveying the Council’s views.