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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 28 September 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors SHEENA WELSH, BILL CROWE, ALISTAIR GRAY, JOHN HENDERSON, IAN MACKINTOSH, PETER MURPHY, ROBERT MYLES, PETER NIELD and BILL ROBERTON.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors STEWART McGLYNN, IAN ANGUS, FRANK ELLIS and JOY MOWATT.

Councillor Welsh, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 August 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. SCOTLAND HEALTH AT WORK - SILVER AWARD

The Committee congratulated the staff of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department who had recently gained the Scotland’s Health at Work Silver Award. This award included staff in all units within the Department. The process of learning about healthy lifestyles had been important in bringing the staff together and, overall, had been good for morale. A formal presentation of the Award would be made at a later date.

3. STUBBLE BURNING

The Committee noted that over the past few Autumn seasons, straw and stubble burning in the countryside had led to complaints regarding smoke and smell nuisance and urged the farming community to take note of the NFU rules on good practice, to minimise the likelihood of nuisance and complaint.

4. BREEDING AND SALE OF DOGS (WELFARE) ACT 1999

There was submitted Report No 937/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, advising the Committee that the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 would be effective from 1 January 2000. The Act would substantially amend the rules on breeding and sale of dogs and define new standards for enforcement. The Report set out the new enforcement duties to be carried out by local authorities and detailed a strategy to implement the new legislation.

Having heard Councillor Mackintosh on the need for a scheme to record and identify dogs, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to welcome the legislative charges as set out in the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 which would improve the legal framework for animal welfare;

(ii) to implement the new charges as detailed in the Report, to recover the cost of regulation of this activity;

(iii) to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to write to all current dog breeders and pet shop proprietors in Angus to make them aware of the new legislative requirements and revised charges for licences which would apply after 1 January 2000;

(iv) to refer the Report to the Civic Licensing Committee for its interest; and

(v) to make representation to the Scottish Executive for the introduction of an appropriate scheme to record the breeding history of dogs.

5. LICENSING OF BUTCHERS’ SHOPS IN SCOTLAND

There was submitted Report No 939/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that following the recommendations made by the Pennington Group, the Scottish Executive had sought comment on a Licensing Scheme for Butchers’ shops in Scotland to be introduced under the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) (Butchers Shops) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1999. The Report set out the key elements of the proposed scheme and the impact on resources and concluded that the proposals should be welcomed as an important step in the development of food safety which should assist in improving public confidence and services provided by Butchers’ Shops.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report; and

(ii) to note that the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection would inform the proprietors of Butchers’ Shops of the proposed scheme.

6. RESPONSE TO THE GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER - "MODERN MARKETS: CONFIDENT CONSUMERS"

There was submitted Report No 938/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the Government had published a White Paper entitled "Modern Markets: Confident Consumers" which aimed to "put consumers at centre stage" and had invited responses to its proposals to strengthen consumer law and improve the provision of consumer advice.

The Report concluded that the proposals in the White Paper should be warmly welcomed as a significant development in consumer affairs and proposed that they be implemented as soon as practicable. However, Westminster Departments would need to liaise with the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive to ensure that initiatives emanating from London were adequately resourced as promised.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report for its interest; and

(ii) to submit to LACOTS (Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards) and to COSLA, the comments detailed in Section 4 of the Report, for subsequent submission to the Government.

7. NEW LEGISLATIVE BURDENS - CONSUMER PROTECTION

There was submitted Report No 942/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection highlighting additional legislative duties assigned to the Trading Standards section of his Department as a result of the introduction of new legislation. The Report concluded that, while the new legislative duties had not, as yet, attracted any identifiable funding from the Government, they would have a real impact on resources. The impact on the Department’s resources would be considered in the preparation of the next revenue budget.

The Committee agreed to note the increased workload being assigned to Angus Council, as weights and measures authority, and the need to re-prioritise existing staff resources to attempt to cope with new and developing duties.

8. DIESEL FUEL IMPROVER TEST

There was submitted Joint Report No 940/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Contract Services Manager proposing that a twelve month controlled test of Diesel Guard Extra fuel additive be carried out, utilising a portion of the vehicle fleet to assess improved fuel consumption and reduce hydrocarbon particulate emissions. The trial would form part of continued developments by the Council to minimise energy consumption and improve local air quality.

The Committee agreed that a controlled twelve month test of Diesel Guard Extra fuel additive by Chemsearch be conducted, based on a proportion of the diesel fuelled fleet, to assess improved energy consumption and reduced exhaust emissions.

9. KERBSIDE WASTE PAPER COLLECTION

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 May 1999, there was submitted Report No 941/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising of the arrangements for the introduction of a fortnightly household waste paper collection scheme.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the operational methods for implementing the new collection arrangements as detailed in paragraph 3 of the Report; and

(ii) to approve the arrangements for publishing and notifying the public of the introduction of the scheme, as detailed in paragraph 4 of the Report.