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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 12 January 1999 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor RICHARD B SPEIRS.

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 items 2 and 3 below 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 6, 8 and 9.

2. WASTE MANAGEMENT - TENDERS

There was submitted Report No 97/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection reporting on tenders received for waste management in respect of Consultancy Services for Lochhead Completion Landform, and Environmental Monitoring at Lochhead/Restenneth Landfill Sites.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the tenders received;

(ii) to accept the tender for Consultancy Services for Lochhead Completion Landform, being that submitted by Carl Bro Aquaterra, Edinburgh in the amount of £1,700; and

(iii) to accept the tender for Environmental Monitoring at Lochhead/Restenneth Landfill Sites, being that submitted by Carl Bro Aquaterra, Edinburgh in the corrected amount of £26,300.

3. DISPOSAL OF SITE AT TAYOCK, MONTROSE

There was submitted Joint Report No 29/99 by the Directors of Property Services and Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that a significant level of interest had been shown in the acquisition of a Council owned site at Tayock, Montrose and recommending that the site be marketed for sale or lease.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve, for its interest, the sale or lease on the open market of a site measuring 3.90 hectares or thereby at Tayock, Montrose subject to the terms and conditions outlined in Report No 29/99; and

(ii) to refer the Report to the Personnel and Property Services Committee for its interest.

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 November 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

Councillor Young, being a member of the Regional Board of SEPA, declared an interest in the following item and took no part in the discussion thereof.

5. SEPA - PROPOSALS FOR THE WASTE MANAGEMENT CHARGING SCHEME 1999

There was submitted Report No 24/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Council had received notification from SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) of proposals to raise their inspection fees for waste management facilities by 25% from 1 April 1999. The Report analysed the implications of the 25% increase in charges for Angus Council and outlined an alternative scheme which would represent a more accountable system.

Various members expressed extreme concern at the proposed increase and in response to questions, the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advised that, as far as he was aware, the Secretary of State had not objected to the increase proposed by SEPA.

Following further discussion, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to oppose the 25% increase in charges to be applied by SEPA in respect of inspection fees;

(ii) to forward a copy of Report No 24/99 to COSLA; and

(iii) to forward a copy of the Report to the Secretary of State, together with a letter expressing members’ concerns and urging him not to approve the charging scheme, but alternatively to approve a scheme based on a fee for inspection reflecting actual costs.

6. AIR QUALITY REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT

There was submitted Report No 25/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that each local authority had a duty to periodically review air quality in its area, apprising the Committee of progress towards a review and assessment of air quality as part of an overall air quality strategy for Tayside and Fife, and setting out the financial implications.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 25/99;

(ii) to ask the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to prepare a further Report when the initial review and assessment of air quality in Angus was complete in early 1999; and

(iii) to ask the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to maintain liaison with the Fife and Tayside Air Quality Partnership with a view to joint usage of a mobile laboratory for local air quality monitoring.

7. RECYCLING CENTRES - CHARTER MARKS

It was reported that, following the application for the Charter Mark Award for the Council’s Recycling Centres, the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection had been advised that his Department would not receive an award in the current year. A full feed-back Report had been provided by the Charter Mark Office, a copy of which was available in the Members Lounge, identifying areas of improvement which the Director would now take on board. Overall, despite having not achieved this award, the experience of going through the process had been beneficial to the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department.

In this connection it was reported that the Monifieth Recycling Centre would close for a period of eight weeks from 29 January to permit improvement works to take place. During that period, the people of Monifieth were invited to take appropriate materials to the recycling centre at Carnoustie or to contact the special collection service until such time as the Monifieth Recycling Centre was reopened.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

8. RADIATION MONITORING

There was submitted Report No 26/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing the background to the former Tayside Radiation Monitoring Scheme, advising that this Scheme could no longer be maintained in its present form, and making recommendations on the way forward for radiation monitoring in the Angus Council area.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that environmental radiation monitoring should continue to be carried out in the Angus Council area; and

(ii) that Angus Council, in partnership with the other authorities forming the Tayside Radiation Monitoring Scheme, should seek to join the West of Scotland Radiation Monitoring Group.

9. GAS SAFETY AT CARAVAN SITES

There was submitted Report No 27/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing the action being proposed by the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department to improve safety in caravans following a fatality in 1998 from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty gas heater in a holiday caravan.

During the Fatal Accident Inquiry, several steps leading to increased safety had been highlighted, including the need for greater awareness of carbon monoxide and the symptoms of poisoning, the need for proper maintenance of gas applications, standardisation of caravan park rules regarding gas appliances and the greater use of carbon monoxide detectors in caravans.

The Convener stressed the need for proper maintenance of gas appliances by CORGI registered engineers and Councillor Ellis expressed concern regarding the safety implications for homeless people living temporarily in caravans.

Thereafter, the Committee noted the contents of Report No 27/99 and agreed:-

(i) to support the use of powers under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, to amend caravan site licence conditions as detailed in the appendices to Report No 27/99;

(ii) to forward a copy of the Report to COSLA with a recommendation that the proposal for changes to caravan site licence conditions be considered for adoption by other Scottish local authorities;

(iv) to seek support from the charity, Shelter, for standard caravan site conditions in relation to gas appliances; and

(v) to recommend that the Civic Licensing Committee approves Report No 27/98 for its interest.

10. FOOD SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 28/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that a recent Report by the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) had indicated that the risk of contracting new variant CJD from beef had been substantially reduced.

The Committee agreed to note that the Government required food authorities to continue to enforce the Beef on the Bone Regulations 1997 whilst Ministers assessed the contents of the SEAC Report into the infectivity of bone marrow and dorsal root ganglia.

11. LITTER ENFORCEMENT ACTION

It was reported that, since the last Report to this Committee in May 1998 (Article 6 refers), further enforcement actions had been taken as follows:-

(i) a further 21 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued for litter offences,

(ii) a further 5 prosecution reports had been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal (of which four had already been marked "No Proceedings" by the Procurator Fiscal), and

(iii) a further 4 prosecution cases were currently being prepared for report to the Procurator Fiscal.

The Committee agreed to note the position.