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ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

MINUTE of MEETING of the ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 26 September 2000 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors IAN ANGUS and FRANK ELLIS.

Councillor WELSH, Convener, in the Chair.

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2) that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of item 2 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, 9 and 10.

2. LANDFILL GAS CONTROL SCHEME ­ SPECIALIST WORKS

There was submitted Report No 791/00 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection listing the specialist landfill gas technology companies who had expressed an interest in tendering for the gas control scheme works to be installed at Lochhead/Restenneth Landfill Site, Forfar.

The Committee agreed that the following companies be invited to tender for the gas control scheme works at Lochhead/Restenneth Landfill Site, Forfar:-

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. ADDED BURDENS SINCE 1996

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 792/00 (49k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection highlighting the many additional legislative pressures and burdens added to the workload of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department since 1996. The Report suggested a course of action for the Government to alleviate the resource problem and sought agreement to draw this to the attention of COSLA and the Scottish Executive.

Having heard various members express concern regarding the added burdens placed on the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department, the Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the content of the Report;
  2. to forward a copy of the Report to COSLA and to the Scottish Executive to highlight the Committee's concerns about new burden pressures; and
  3. to ask the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to convey to his staff members' appreciation for the work carried out by the Department.

5. BURDENS OF FOOD REGULATIONS ON SMALL FOOD BUSINESSES

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 795/00 (49k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that the Food Standards Agency had set up a Task Force to assess the burden of food legislation on small food businesses. The Task Force had issued a consultation document to the industry requesting they identify the specific regulations, define the burden and how the regulations affected their viability. It was suggested that the Council, as a food authority, should respond to the consultation exercise.

Having heard Councillor Henderson on the need for licensing in the butchery trade, the Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to forward a copy of the Report to COSLA and the Scottish Executive as the Council's response to the consultation exercise.

6. RESEARCH TO EXPLORE PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO FOOD SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 793/00 (16k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the findings of research that had been carried out to investigate the general public's attitude to food safety prior to the launch of the Food Standards Agency in April 2000.

The research had concluded that it was evident that food was purchased by the public on economic rather than health grounds and highlighted a wide range of concerns expressed by the participants, relating to food safety. It was also evident from the study that the Government and politicians generally were mistrusted regarding the communication of food safety risks to the public, and that the Food Standards Agency would have to demonstrate effectively to the public that, although funded by Government, it would not allow politicians to interfere in its work of protecting the consumer.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report for its interest.

7. EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSALS FOR NEW FOOD SAFETY RULES

There was submitted Report No 794/00 (14k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the European Commission had recently announced proposals for a radical review of the Community's food safety hygiene rules.

Four new sets of regulations were proposed that would merge, harmonise and simplify existing detailed and complex requirements currently contained in seventeen directives. The Commission had conducted a consultation exercise on the proposals and the Report set out the proposed response from Angus Council.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to forward a copy of the Report to COSLA and the Scottish Executive as the Council's response to the consultation exercise.

8. CAR BOOT SALES ­ SURVEY IN ANGUS

There was submitted Report No 796/00 (11k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection together with a survey report advising the Committee of some of the problems which faced consumers who purchased goods at car boot sales. The survey report made a number of recommendations and concluded that, by introducing a form of regulation, undisclosed traders would be discouraged from trading, legitimate local businesses would be given some form of protection and consumers should be educated in advance by the provision of advice leaflets.

Having heard Councillor Mowatt welcome the Report, the Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the contents of the Report.

9. REFUSE COLLECTION AND WASTE MANAGEMENT ETC ARRANGEMENTS ­ ST ANDREW'S DAY HOLIDAY 2000

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 797/00 (11k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that, due to the Council wide staff holiday for St Andrew's Day on Thursday 30 November 2000, it would be necessary to alter refuse collection and other waste and cleansing services during that week. The Report set out proposals to deal with the situation, which would cause the minimum possible disruption.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the adjustments to the days of refuse and wastepaper collections, as detailed in Section 2 of the Report; and
  2. to approve the arrangements for other cleansing and waste management services outlined in Section 3 of the Report.

10. KIRRIEMUIR RECYCLING CENTRE/CIVIC AMENITY FACILITY

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 May 1999, there was submitted Report No 798/00 (11k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection outlining proposals to upgrade the existing civic amenity disposal facility at Kirriemuir in line with SEPA requirements. The Report indicated that the feasibility study for the project, which had recently been undertaken, proposed a two phased programme, starting in February 2001 with completion in April 2001. During alterations it was likely that the site would close for short periods of up to three weeks over the period of reconstruction.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the proposals outlined in the Report for the development of a recycling centre at Bellies Brae, Kirriemuir; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to put in place the necessary measures to have the works undertaken, subject to the necessary funding packages being in place.

11. COMMERCIAL WASTE ­ REVIEW OF CHARGES

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 799/00 (17k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection setting out proposals for increases in the charges for (a) collection and disposal by the Council of commercial and industrial wastes; and (b) commercial and trade concerns depositing waste at recycling centres.

The Committee agreed to approve the undernoted charges from 1 December 2000:-

  1. for commercial and industrial wastes uplifted by the Council:-
    £
    Two wheeled 240 lt 1.31 (+ VAT) per lift
    Four wheeled bins 1100/1280 lt 5.98 (+ VAT) per lift
    Sacks 0.77 (+ VAT) per lift
  2. commercial premises which, in terms of the charging regulations, could only be charged for collection:-
    £
    Two wheeled 240 lt 1.05 (+ VAT) per lift
    Four wheeled bins 1100/1280 lt 4.85 (+ VAT) per lift
    Sacks 0.74 (+ VAT) per lift
  3. mixed loads of commercial waste received at the Council Recycling Centres subject to there being no charge where the total load/item consisted of uncontaminated materials acceptable by the Council for recycling:-
    £
    Cars, car based vans 1.96 (+ VAT) per load
    Medium vans under 3.5 tonnes GVW 8.97 (+ VAT) per load
    Trailers up to 2 tonnes GVW 8.97 (+ VAT) per load
  4. mixed loads of waste received at the Council's Recycling Centres subject to there being no charge where the total load/item consisted of uncontaminated materials acceptable by the Council for recycling:-
    £
    Medium vans under 3.5 tonnes GVW 8.97 (+ VAT) per load
    Trailers up to 2 tonnes GVW (two axle). 8.97 (+ VAT) per load
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