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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 13 August 2002 at 4.00pm.

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

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors JOHN HENDERSON, IAN MACKINTOSH and ROBERT MYLES

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 2-5 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, 9 and 10.

2. VEHICLE FLEET SERVICES

There was submitted Joint Report No 896/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Contract Services Manager with regard to the work undertaken by the Group established to examine the Fleet Vehicles Study Phase II VFM. The Report proposed implementation of an integrated and composite unit to deliver comprehensive fleet vehicle services to all operational vehicle users and leased car drivers within the full range of Council Departments.

The Report indicated that car leases and the general Council fleet management were currently operated in isolation with no inter-relationship in terms of policy or procurement and no overall co-ordinated fleet management strategy. A value for money study on car leasing and loans recognised that there might be economies of scale available if the whole Council fleet management was considered as a component activity with a common approach to strategy and a shared management and administrative arrangement.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to integrate, within a composite unit, all vehicle-related provision under the managerial responsibility of the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection;
  2. to transfer the budget provision for the vehicle maintenance of workshop function in full from Contract Services to Environmental and Consumer Protection with the Contract Services net surplus target being reduced by £18,000 in a full year with regard to the vehicle maintenance workshop profit level and the Environmental and Consumer Protection Departmental Revenue Budget being reduced by a commensurate amount;
  3. to note that the Contract Services Manager, with co-operation and assistance from the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, would absorb all management overhead costs currently incurred which were not transferable to Environmental and Consumer Protection;
  4. to approve 1 November 2002 as the implementation date of the revised management arrangement;
  5. to establish the posts of Fleet Manager (AP8), Fleet Customer Adviser (AP2) and Accounts Assistant (GS3) within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department; and
  6. to delete the post of Vehicle Centre Manager.

3. DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY NATIONAL PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK PLAN FOR TRADING STANDARDS SERVICES

There was submitted Report No 897/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of a service delivery plan which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had requested be produced and submitted to them from the Trading Standards Service.

The Report indicated that the Department was increasingly required to produce service delivery plans for outside agencies which might not necessarily accord with local needs and priorities and unless these agencies had a statutory requirement, the first responsibility of the Department was to ensure service delivery and commitment in accordance with the Council's plans and priorities. The Trading Standards Section had produced a draft plan which closely followed the format laid down and this had been forwarded to the DTI in response to their request.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to approve the action taken in submitting the Service Delivery Plan to the Department of Trade and Industry in the form detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

4. VEHICLE TENDERS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 May 2002, there was submitted Report No 898/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing tenders received for various vehicles.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. 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 of the Financial Regulations and his acceptance of the tenders for:-
    1. the contract hire of one Renault Master Van from Lex Vehicle Leasing, Stirling at a cost of £6,815.88 per year for a three year period;
    2. the purchase of an Iveco Daily Flat Bed Truck from A M Philip Ltd, Forfar at a cost of £20,700;
    3. the purchase of a Ford Transit Jumbo Van from A M Philip Ltd, Forfar at a cost of £18,800;
    4. the extension of the contract approved by this Committee on 16 April 2002 (Article 2 refers) to include the procurement of a further six low load trailers at the prices quoted at tender from Kay Trailers, Milnathort at a cost of £14,520; and
    5. the extension of the contract approved by this Committee on 28 May 2002 (Article 3 refers) to include the procurement of a second mobile library chassis at the price quoted at tender from A M Philip Ltd, Forfar at a cost of £17,920.
  2. to approve the supply of two mobile library bodies from PCL Coachworks Ltd, Cupar at a total cost of £104,648 (Operating Lease); and
  3. to authorise the supply of one split compartment Refuse Collection Body from Geesink Norba, Pontyclun at a cost of £86,600 (Operating Lease).

5. REFRIGERATION TENDERS

The Committee agreed to defer consideration of this item.

6. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 May 2002 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

7. HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNUAL REPORT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 August 2001, there was submitted Report No 900/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection highlighting the work undertaken within the Department during 2001/02 on health and safety issues.

The Report indicated that the Core Safety Group which had been established in 1997 by the Department as a means of keeping all health, safety and welfare issues under review had progressed various issues throughout the year and would continue to meet on a regular basis as further initiatives were identified.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

8. PUBLIC PERFORMANCE REPORTING TO STAKEHOLDERS

There was submitted Report No 901/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection summarising the recent progress in satisfying the need to bring the activities of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department to the attention of stakeholders.

The Report indicated that the Department was being encouraged to improve its public performance reporting as its remit covered a wide area of work, not all of which received publicity.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to authorise the information contained in the Report to be made available to other interested stakeholders.

On behalf of the Committee, the Convener expressed thanks to all the staff involved for their dedication in all the activities of the Department.

9. "STOP NOW" ORDERS ­ AN UPDATE

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 902/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection updating the Committee on progress which had been made with the implementation of the "Stop Now" Orders legislation which was designed to combat unfair trading practices.

The Report indicated that significant developments had been made with the appointment of a project co-ordinator who would co-ordinate the work within the partner authorities. The Office of Fair Trading was establishing a consumer regulation website to act as a formal mechanism for reporting and monitoring relevant "Stop Now" matters and Angus was one of two Scottish pilot authorities developing this system. Experience would, in due course, identify whether resources were adequate as the new civil Court action system was used which could lead to financial and staffing implications.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

10. APPOINTMENT OF AUTHORISED OFFICERS ­ ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION (LITTER CONTROLS

There was submitted Report No 903/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking to update authorisations of the Council for certain officers within the Department to enforce provisions in legislation dealing with litter offenders.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to authorise, with immediate effect, the Waste Services Manager, the Waste Management Officer and the Waste Management Inspectors employed within the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department to enforce the provisions under Section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Law and Administration to issue the necessary authorisations.

11. HEALTH AND SAFETY ENFORCEMENT SERVICE PLAN 2002/2003

There was submitted Report No 904/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection reminding members that, in terms of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Council was required to produce an annual Health and Safety Enforcement Plan.

The Report indicated that a plan had now been prepared in the undernoted format:-

The Committee agreed to adopt the Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan 2002/2003, a copy of which had been placed in the Members' Lounge.

12. SECTION 18 GUIDANCE ON HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW ENFORCEMENT BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES

There was submitted Report No 905/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection reminding members that Section 18 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 required local authorities to make adequate arrangements and perform duties in accordance with guidance issued by the Health and Safety Commission. A review of that guidance by the Commission had necessitated a review and updating of the Department's present Health and Safety Enforcement Policy.

The Committee, having noted that no additional funding had been received for the scheme from Central Government, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to adopt the enforcement policy as appended to the Report.

13. REGULATIONS TO PREVENT THE DIVERSION OF UNFIT MEAT INTO THE HUMAN FOOD CHAIN

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 22 May 2001, there was submitted Report No 906/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that notification had recently been received relating to the amendment regulations to the Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations 1995 from the Food Standards Agency (Scotland).

The Report indicated that the main features of the new regulations would require the staining or sterilisation of high risk poultry meat by-products, high risk red meat and poultry meat in licensed cutting plants and licensed coldstores, with the clear separation and labelling of "high risk" and "low risk" by-products. However, the Food Standards Agency had not extended the requirement to stain etc low risk meat by-products, having taken the view that this action would be disproportionate to the risk involved.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to advise the Food Standards Agency of its concern at the failure to include a requirement to stain low risk meat by-products in the Amendment Regulations.

14. RECYCLING STATISTICS AND RECYCLING PLAN 2001/2002

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 September 2001, there was submitted Report No 907/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection updating the Committee on the situation with regard to recycling and detailing progress in relation to the Council's recycling activities.

The Report indicated that the Council continued to meet its planned commitments to recycling and continually aimed to encourage and enable the recovery of materials capable of recycling.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report and the appended statistics.

15. REFUSE COLLECTION AUDIT

There was submitted Report No 908/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising members that a Report had been compiled on the refuse collection service performance as recommended by the Accounts Commission, providing information on:-

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report, full details of which were available in the Members' Lounge.

16. WESTHAVEN PUBLIC TOILETS, CARNOUSTIE

There was submitted Report No 909/02 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection requesting the Committee to consider the future of the Westhaven public convenience at Carnoustie.

The Report indicated that this public convenience was situated on a corner site within an area of residential properties and the owner of a neighbouring residence had enquired whether it might be possible to acquire the public convenience building for the purposes of demolition and annexing the site into his garden.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. not to close the Westhaven Public Conveniences meantime but to await a further Report in due course from the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on the future of unmanned public conveniences across Angus.
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