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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 7 August 2001 at 4.00pm.

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

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 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 1, 6, 8 and 9.

2. ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSUMER ADVISER POST

There was submitted Joint Report No 831/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Acting Director of Personnel seeking approval to create a new post of Consumer Adviser within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department and to delete an existing post.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the establishment of a new post of Consumer Adviser within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department on grade Tech 1-4; and
  2. to delete from the establishment of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department the existing post of Trading Standards Technician on grade Tech 1-4.

3. VEHICLE AND PLANT TENDERS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 April 2001, there was submitted Report No 832/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing tenders received for various vehicles.

The Committee agreed to note the tenders received in respect of vehicles individually valued up to £30,000 for which the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection had delegated authority to act in terms of Section 16 and Appendix 2 of Financial Regulations, and his acceptance of the following tenders, namely:-

  1. the contract hire of one Ford Ranger from Lex Leasing, Stirling at a cost of £13,042.08 for a three year period; and
  2. the contract hire of one Vauxhall Zafira from Lex Leasing, Stirling at a cost of £9,871.92 for a three year period.

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 22 May 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

5. COMMERCIAL WASTE ­ REVIEW OF CHARGES

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 September 2000, there was submitted Report No 833/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection setting out proposals for increases in the charges for collection and disposal by the Council of commercial and industrial wastes and introducing charges for glass collection.

The Committee agreed to approve the undernoted charges from 1 December 2001:-

  1. for commercial and industrial wastes uplifted by the Council:-
    £
    Two wheeled 240lt 1.37 (+VAT) per lift
    Four wheeled bins 1100/1280lt 6.30 (+VAT) per lift
    Sacks 0.81 (+VAT) per lift
  2. for commercial premises which, in terms of the charging regulations, could only be charged for collection:-
    £
    Two wheeled 240lt 1.05 (+VAT) per lift
    Four wheeled bins 1100/1280lt 4.85 (+VAT) per lift
    Sacks 0.74 (+VAT) per lift
  3. for glass bottle collections from commercial premises (such as pubs, hotels, catering establishments etc):-
    Two wheeled 240lt £10 (+VAT) per bin/year

6. STUDENT ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICER TRAINING SCHEME

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 834/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection giving details of a proposed scheme of practical training in Angus for student Environmental Health Officers in accordance with the requirements of the qualifications body for Environmental Health Officers in Scotland.

The Report indicated that Angus Council had always encountered difficulties with recruitment of qualified Environmental Health Officers as it competed with other local authorities and agencies. However, after a number of years, it was proposed that student Environmental Health Officer training in Angus be reintroduced.

The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS), the professional body for Environmental Health Officers in Scotland, had set down a scheme of practical training and each training provider, in this case Angus Council, engaged in the practical training of student Environmental Health Officers was required to prepare a training plan which satisfied that. A copy of the scheme for recruitment and training of student Environmental Health Officers in Angus was appended to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to approve the scheme appended to the Report for recruitment and training of student Environmental Health Officers in Angus; and
  2. to Angus Council being a training provider for student Environmental Health Officers subject to satisfying the Royal Environmental Heath Institute of Scotland as to the training plan.

7. HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNUAL REPORT

With reference to Article 5(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 835/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection highlighting the work undertaken during 2000/2001 on health and safety issues within the Department. The Report indicated that the Department had established a Core Safety Group in 1997 as a means of keeping all health, safety and welfare issues under review and identified the current issues that were being taken forward by the Group.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

8. FOOD CONTRACT MONITORING ­ 2000/2001

There was submitted Report No 836/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection informing the Committee of the results of the work which had been done to check on the food supplied under contract to Angus Council's Education and Social Work premises (schools and residential homes).

The Report indicated that during the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001, 48 food samples had been taken by Angus Council's Trading Standards Service from Education and Social Work premises to check for compliance with the Council's contract specifications and for compliance with legal requirements. Of the 48 samples taken over the year, 75% were found to meet both legal and contract specification requirements. However, 2% of the samples had failed to meet statutory requirements, 2% had failed for other reasons and 21% had breached contract specifications.

The Report concluded that this monitoring work had proved to be worthwhile in keeping the suppliers compliant with the Council's specification and it was important that they knew their supplies were being sampled and analysed in a random manner. It also highlighted any potential problems with local food producers who supplied the Education and Social Work Departments and ensured standards of quality were maintained.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

9. THE HELA STRATEGIC PLAN ­ 2001-2004

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 837/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee that Angus Council had recently received an advance version of the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities Enforcement Liaison Committee (HELA) Strategic Plan 2001-2004 for consideration. The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) were asking local authorities to consider the Plan and in particular, to consider the extent to which they might set local targets to achieve the Plan's objective.

The Report indicated that the defined targets for health and safety enforcement which were outlined in the Strategic Plan were ambitious and the Plan failed to make any reference to local authorities receiving additional funding to meet these targets. The Environmental and Consumer Protection Department would, however, endeavour through working with their partner authorities on the liaison group and with other agencies on the Council's Community Safety Steering Group to support the Health and Safety Commission's efforts to attain these targets. The Report stressed that this additional work would have to be undertaken within the present and future budgets set by Angus Council.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to support the inclusion of the priorities defined in the HELA Strategic Plan into the present health and safety enforcement regime.

10. WASTE REVIEW ­ SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of the Development Control Committee of 14 June 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 719/01 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection which updated members on the key findings arising from the waste review undertaken as part of the wider mineral and waste landfill study by consultants on behalf of Angus Council.

The Report indicated that the waste review endorsed the Waste Management Strategy implemented by Angus since the mid 1990s which highlighted that sufficient landfill capacity existed in Angus for both inert and non-inert waste for at least a ten year period. The study also indicated that in the wider Dundee and Angus context there was a projected shortfall for non-inert landfill capacity that would have implications for land use waste management planning at Structure Plan and Local Plan level.

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

11. FOOT AND MOUTH UPDATE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 April 2001, the Committee was advised that over 2,000 licences had been issued to Angus farmers for the movement of cattle, sheep and pigs to slaughter from the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department Headquarters since 1 March 2001. Forfar Mart had been licensed as a collection centre to allow aggregation of animals into economic loads for onward transport to slaughter. Brechin Abattoir was now licensed to deal with the slaughter of cattle in the over 30 months scheme. However, there was a considerable backlog of older cattle for slaughter caused by the suspension of the scheme due to Foot and Mouth Disease.

The Committee agreed to note the position and congratulated the Director and his staff for the efficient manner in which the licences had been issued.

12. LOCAL AUTHORITY LICENCE CONDITIONS FOR GAS SAFETY ON CARAVAN SITES

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Civic Licensing Committee of 22 April 1999, there was submitted Report No 827/01 by the Director of Law and Administration recommending that, following representations made to the Council, the existing licence conditions for gas safety at caravan sites within Angus be amended.

The Report indicated that, as a result of a 1964 House of Lords case, it was clear that Angus Council did not have the power under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 to impose conditions (3) and (8) in any caravan site licence, regardless of the fact that the conditions had been imposed with public safety in mind. The Report stressed, however, that it was hoped that the continuing use of the warning notice to caravan users, and the letter to site owners advising them of the dangers of gas, would help to raise the awareness of the issue of gas safety and, in turn, keep caravan users safe.

Following discussion, the Committee, for its interest, agreed to amend, in terms of Section 8 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 ("the 1960 Act"), the existing licence conditions for caravan sites.

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