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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 29 September 1998 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors WILLIAM CROWE and GLENNIS MIDDLETON.

Councillor MOWATT, Convener, in the Chair.

 

1. 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 2, so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 8, 9 and 10.

2. VEHICLE TENDERS

There was submitted Report No 985/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on tenders received for the supply of various vehicles.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the tenders received;

(ii) to approve acceptance of the tender for the supply of one Ford Transit 100 LWB Van (hinged partition) from A M Phillip Limited, Forfar amounting to £14,443;

(iii) to approve the acceptance of the tender for the supply of two Ford Transit 100 LWB vans (full partition) from A M Phillip Limited, Forfar amounting to £14,950 each;

(iv) to approve the acceptance of the tender for the supply of one Iveco Ford Crew Cab Tipper from A M Phillip Limited, Forfar amounting to £19,485;

(v) to approve the acceptance of the tender for the supply of one Ford Transit Mini Bus from Laidlaw (Fife) Limited, Kirkcaldy amounting to £21,170; and

(vi) to approve the acceptance of the tender for the supply of one Mechanical Road Sweeper from Allied Sweepers Limited, Falkirk amounting to £69,985.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 August 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. DUNDEE ENERGY RECYCLING LIMITED - WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT - PROGRESS TO AUGUST 1998

There was submitted Report No 986/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee on the progress of this project. The Report advised that the works were on target with a projected completion date of September 1999.

The Committee noted the progress outlined and agreed that the Convener and Vice-Convener of the Committee, together with the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, attend on behalf of the Council a tour of the site to be held on 16 October 1998.

5. REVIEW OF THE LEGISLATION RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY AND THE SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

There was submitted Report No 987/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the Department of the Environment was conducting a review of legislation relating to SEPA to identify any barriers that existed which might prevent SEPA and the Environment Agency in England and Wales taking an integrated approach to the environment.

The review was intended to concentrate on the practical workings of legislation and would consider whether harmonisation of legal powers would improve environmental protection and provide a more consistent and streamlined service to both industry and the public.

The Committee approved Report No 987/98 and the following motion by the Convener and agreed that they be sent to the Secretary of State as Angus Council's response to the consultation;

"Angus Council believes that no review of legislation is necessary at this time.

(i) SEPA and the Environment Agency were set up as separate bodies only two years ago to reflect the different and varied needs of the two areas. Angus Council at this time sees no need to integrate the legislation that gives the two bodies their separate powers;

(ii) The Scottish Parliament should be allowed to examine the need for adjustments to Scottish legislation. We recommend that one of the tasks of the Scottish Parliament should be a review of SEPA’s structure, organisation and methods of service delivery;

(iii) The focus on SEPA should be to make it more accountable and closer to local communities rather than to effect standardisation on a Britain-wide basis; and

(iv) Angus Council repeats its position, previously stated, that the Secretary of State for Scotland must ensure that SEPA is adequately funded to carry out the duties assigned to it."

6. NEW FEEDING STUFFS REGULATIONS

There was submitted Report No 988/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the nature and extent of new Regulations to control the activities of farmers and feeding stuffs manufacturers, to ensure the health and welfare of animals and to prevent substances finding their way into the foodchain.

The Committee approved the Report for its interest, and welcomed the new legislation relating to animal feeding stuffs but noted that enforcement would represent yet another burden on the resources of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department.

7. NORTH LANARKSHIRE E COLI 0157 FATAL ACCIDENT INQUIRY DETERMINATION

It was reported that the determination of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of 21 people as a result of E Coli 0157 food poisoning in North Lanarkshire had been issued by Sheriff Principal Graham L Cox QC.

The Committee noted that the Report contained 140 pages, plus an appendix, and raised issues which impinged upon the quality of food safety inspections carried out by local authorities.

The Committee noted that Angus Council had had in place, for some time, an audit system to oversee inspections carried out by Angus food safety staff and that this system would now be adjusted to reflect specific concerns raised by the Sheriff.

8. OUTBREAK ACTION PLAN FOR FOODBORNE DISEASES

There was submitted Report No 989/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the work done to produce, in draft form at present, an Outbreak Action Plan to help Council staff deal with future foodborne disease incidents. The Plan would be a quality document with a limited number of authorised copies so that revision and amendment was regulated.

The Committee noted, for its interest, that the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department had developed an Outbreak Action Plan to help staff deal with any future outbreak of foodborne diseases in Angus.

9. FOOD STANDARDS LAW ENFORCEMENT POLICY IN ANGUS

There was submitted Report No 990/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection outlining proposals for a consistent approach to food standards enforcement in Angus.

The Report advised that the policy, as appended to the Report, provided a system of inspections related to a risk assessed rating scheme contained within the Code of Practice. This would determine the frequency of inspection of food businesses so that premises presenting a greater risk to the consumer would receive more frequent inspections than those preventing a lesser risk.

The Committee agreed to adopt the policy appended to the Report.

10. APPOINTMENTS

(a) Food Examiners

There was submitted Report No 991/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Council on the legal requirement to appoint Food Examiner(s).

The Committee agreed that Angus Council appoint the Public Analyst, Depute Public Analyst and the Microbiologist, City of Dundee Scientific Services Department, being persons in possession of the relevant qualifications prescribed in the Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations 1990 made under the Food Safety Act 1990, to be Food Examiners for Angus.

(b) Appointment of Depute Public Analyst and Agricultural Analyst

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 9 April 1996, there was submitted Report No 992/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Council on the legal requirement to appoint a Public Analyst and Agricultural Analyst and, if necessary, a Depute to the Public Analyst.

The Committee agreed that Angus Council appoint the Depute Public Analyst, City of Dundee Scientific Services Department, being a person in possession of the relevant qualifications prescribed in Regulations made under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Agriculture Act 1970 to be the Depute Public Analyst and Agricultural Analyst for Angus Council.

11. AUTHORISATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS UNDER THE MEDICINES ACT 1968

There was submitted Report No 993/98 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking authorisation from the Council for certain officers within the Department to enforce provisions contained within the Medicines Act 1968.

The Committee agreed that Angus Council, with immediate effect, authorise all qualified Environmental Health Officers employed by the Council to enforce the provisions of the Medicines Act 1968 and instructed the Director of Law and Administration to issue the necessary authorisations in writing.