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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 25 May 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors SHEENA WELSH, STEWART McGLYNN, IAN ANGUS, WILLIAM G CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, ALISTAIR GRAY, JOHN HENDERSON, IAN MACKINTOSH, JOY MOWATT, PETER MURPHY, ROBERT MILES, PETER NIELD and BILL ROBERTON.

Also in attendance: Councillor SANDY WEST

Councillor Welsh, Convener, in the Chair.

Before starting the business the Convener welcomed members to this first meeting of the Committee following the recent election. She introduced the Vice-Convener, and the principal officer advisers and, for the benefit of new members, gave a brief outline of procedure at Committee meetings.

1. APPOINTMENTS

(a) Membership of Committee

With reference to Article 5 (c) of the minute of meeting of the Council held on 13 May 1999, the Committee agreed to note the members appointed to this Committee.

(b) Executive Sub-Committee

The Committee agreed to appoint Councillors Sheena Welsh, Stewart McGlynn and Ian Mackintosh to the Executive Sub-Committee of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee.

2. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee held on 6 April 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener

3. PETITION - SAVE OUR TOILETS, MONTROSE

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of Angus Council held on 17 September 1998, members were advised that the following petition comprising 15 pages of signatures had been passed to the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection by Councillor George Norrie on behalf of those who had signed the petition:-

"We the undersigned, being customers and visitors to the Royal Burgh of Montrose, wish to register our disapproval of the lack of toilets in the High Street. We feel that the destruction of the prize winning facility at the Ball House is a backward step in the Town’s amenities and that the lack of this facility will discourage the bus loads of senior citizens and young families from visiting Montrose. We would also suggest that far from losing the Ball House Toilets, another is required at the north end of the High Street."

Having heard Councillors Crowe and West, local members, speak in support of the Council’s decision to relocate the toilets from the Town House to Baltic Street to facilitate the provision of an ACCESS office in Montrose, the Committee agreed to note that the above petition had been received and that a further petition containing 4,000 signatures would be presented to Montrose members on Thursday 27 May 1999.

4. WEST LINKS, ARBROATH AND SEAFRONT, MONTROSE - TOILET PROVISION

There was submitted Joint Report No 449/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the toilets at West Links, Arbroath and Seafront, Montrose, which were ancillary to recreational attractions, were managed by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection. This meant that there were times when the toilets were closed although the attractions were open and the Report concluded that customer requirements would be met more effectively if the management of these toilets was transferred to the Director of Recreation Services.

The Committee agreed to the transfer of responsibility for managing the toilet facilities at West Links Park, Arbroath and Traill Pavilion, Montrose to the Director of Recreation Services to better co-ordinate the opening of toilets with customer requirements for this service.

5. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF, CARNOUSTIE - 15-18 JULY 1999

There was submitted Report No 500/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing the additional services which his Department would require to provide to meet the requirements of the people attending the Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie from 15 to 18 July 1999.

The Committee agreed to approve the provision of the additional services outlined in the Report and that the cost incurred be met as outlined in section 4 thereof.

6. SETTING PRIORITIES FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION/TRADING STANDARDS SERVICES

There was submitted Report No 501/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Accounts Commission required Consumer Protection and Trading Standards Services to meet certain performance standards and detailing the performance indicators to be met. The Council’s Environmental and Consumer Protection Department had encountered difficulties in meeting these performance indicators as they had not taken account of local priorities. The Report therefore set out a list of priorities to be set by Angus Council to ensure that resources were targeted to the correct service areas.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of Report No 501/99;

(ii) to approve the prioritisation rationale detailed within Section 4 of the Report; and

(iii) to make representations to COSLA, LACOTS and the Accounts Commission regarding the need for local priorities to be set; and the danger that too much emphasis on quantitative performance indicator measurement could have a detrimental impact on local responsiveness and on the Council’s Best Value aspirations in terms of quality of delivery.

7. THE LABELLING OF FOODS CONTAINING GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOYA OR MAIZE

There was submitted Report No 502/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Government had recently announced the introduction of new powers for local authorities to enforce EC Regulations on labelling of food stuffs containing genetically modified soya or maize, and highlighting possible enforcement difficulties including a lack of resources.

COUNCILLOR WELSH, SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR ELLIS, MOVED THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE APPROVE THE RECOMMENDATIONS SET OUT IN REPORT NO 502/99 AND ACCORDINGLY AGREE AS FOLLOWS:-

(i) TO NOTE THE CONTENTS OF REPORT NO 502/99 FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES:

(ii) THAT A COPY OF REPORT NO 502/99 BE FORWARDED TO THE SCOTTISH OFFICE EXPRESSING CONCERN THAT THESE REGULATIONS WERE YET MORE LEGISLATION THE COUNCIL WAS EXPECTED TO ENFORCE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES; AND

(iii) TO URGE THE SCOTTISH OFFICE TO CONSIDER BASING FUTURE LABELLING LEGISLATION CONCERNING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS NOT ON THE PRESENT BASIS OF THE DETECTABILITY OF MODIFIED DNA OR PROTEIN IN THE FOOD, BUT RATHER ON THE TRACEABILITY TO A GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOURCE.

As an amendment, Councillor Nield, seconded by Councillor Murphy, moved that (iii) be amended to read "to urge the Scottish Office to consider future labelling legislation concerning genetically modified foods."

On a vote being taken, the members voted:-

For the motion:

Councillors Welsh, McGlynn, Angus, Crowe, Ellis, Gray, Henderson, Mackintosh, Mowatt and Roberton (10).

For the amendment:

Councillors Murphy and Nield (2)

No vote:

Councillor Myles (1).

The motion was declared carried and the Committee resolved accordingly.

8. HOUSEHOLD WASTE PAPER COLLECTION

There was submitted Report No 503/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Council provided a weekly domestic waste paper recycling service and that a high standard of product at collection had been successfully achieved. However, it had become evident that householders generally were tending to put out paper for collection on a less frequent basis than weekly. The Report therefore recommended that the frequency of existing kerbside household waste paper collection be standardised to fortnightly intervals.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 503/99;

(ii) to introduce fortnightly intervals for a kerbside collection of newspaper and magazines from domestic and other properties covered by the existing service; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection (a) to prepare the detailed arrangements and routes; (b) to make the necessary arrangements to inform and consult the general public; and (c) to report back in due course on the outcome of such arrangements.

9. UNMANNED CIVIC AMENITY SITES AT BRECHIN AND KIRRIEMUIR

There was submitted Report No 504/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that SEPA had intimated a phased modification of waste management licence conditions requiring those sites based in centres of population to be manned when open to the public for recycling or disposal of bulky items. The two civic amenity sites at Brechin and the site at Kirriemuir were considered by SEPA as burgh sites. Accordingly, they would be required to meet the new conditions.

Having heard Councillor Mowatt, one of the local members, welcome the manning of the sites at Brechin, the Committee agreed to note the contents of Report No 504/99 and instruct the Director to bring forward proposals to meet the manning requirements of the three sites as expressed in the modified waste management site licences.

10. RECYCLING CENTRES, USEAGE RATES

There was submitted Report No 505/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that, in order to comply fully with waste management licences and continue the Council’s high standard of operations at the five Recycling Centres in Angus, adjustments to the operating policy to improve operational controls would be required.

The Committee agreed to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to implement the necessary adjustments to ensure that the Council’s Recycling Centres were operated within the conditions of the wase management licences as required by statute.

11. EXTENSION OF REFUSE COLLECTION CHARGING SCHEME

There was submitted Report No 506/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Environmental Protection Act 1990 required local authorities to make charges for the recovery of their reasonable costs for the collection and disposal of all waste collected by them from industrial and non domestic premises. Due to increasing fuel costs and recent landfill controls, the cost of waste disposal to the Council had greatly increased and the Report recommended that, in order to reduce the shortfall in income, the current scheme of charging for refuse collection be extended to other groups of non domestic premises.

Having heard Councillors Ellis and Angus express concern on recent increases in fuel tax, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 506/99;

(ii) to extend the current scheme of charging for refuse collection under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to the following non domestic premises:-

Commercial and local authority operated residential homes and hostels

Colleges and other commercially run educational or training establishments

Schools

Holiday, caravan and camping sites

Nursing homes and hospitals; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to undertake the necessary processes of consultation with a view to introducing charges to the non domestic premises listed at (ii) above, at the start of the existing scheme charge year on 1 December 1999.

12. DISPOSAL OF WASTE TYRES

There was submitted Report No 507/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that, due to problems experienced on landfill sites in connection with waste tyres, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) had added specific clauses in new landfill site licences to exclude the acceptance of waste tyres. There were a number of specialist companies who dealt with waste tyres and all specialist tyre fitting companies in Angus had identified a legitimate method of disposing of the large numbers of waste tyres which their business generated in an environmentally acceptable manner. However, there was an increasing problem with fly tipping and illegal disposal of tyres.

Having heard various members express their concern about fly tipping of tyres in the countryside, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to urge members of the public to dispose of their motor tyres through the tyre supply industry;

(ii) to encourage SEPA and the Police to identify and prosecute persons engaged in fly tipping, particularly of tyres in the countryside;

(iii) to empower the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to investigate all cases of fly tipping of tyres in the Council civic amenity sites and to identify the offenders and seek prosecution whenever sufficient evidence was available; and

(iv) to make advice available to members of the public on the correct disposal and procedures for tyres when this was requested.

13. RECYCLING EDUCATION AND PROMOTION INITIATIVES 1999

There was submitted Report No 508/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection referring to the success of last year’s education and promotion initiatives on recycling and proposing that this year, the initiative be extended through the five existing recycling centres across Angus.

The Committee agreed to approve the contents of the Report and urge members of the community to support the recycling initiatives by recycling wherever possible.

14. 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 15 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.

15. VEHICLE TENDER - MECHANICAL ROAD SWEEPER

There was submitted Report No 509/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection recommending that, due to the specialist nature of the works, the procurement of a mechanical road sweeper be exempted from normal tendering requirements in terms of Financial Regulation 14(3).

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to extend the tender approved by this Committee on 29 September 1998 (Report No 985/98 refers) for a mechanical road sweeper, to include the procurement through operating lease of a further mechanical road sweeper at the contract price of £69,985 quoted in the September tender from Applied Sweepers Limited, Falkirk; and

(ii) to exempt this procurement from normal tendering procedures in accordance with Financial Regulation 14(3).