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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 9 January 2001 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors STEWART McGLYNN, IAN ANGUS, BILL CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, 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 SHEENA WELSH and JOY MOWATT.

Councillor MCGLYNN, Vice-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 6, 8, 9.

2. VEHICLE AND PLANT TENDER

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 November 2000, there was submitted Report No 8/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing tenders received for various vehicles and plant.

The Committee agreed to note the tenders received in respect of vehicles and plant 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 1 of Financial Regulations, and his acceptance of the following tenders, namely:-

  1. the purchase of one 4"/100mm Water Pump from North British Tractors, Aberdeen amounting to £9,476.25;
  2. the purchase and installation of Bulk Load Plant from James Cowie & Co Ltd., Hamilton amounting to £19,485;
  3. the contract hire of three Ford Fiesta Vans (annual mileage 70,000 miles) from Lex Vehicle Leasing at a cost of £4,103.04 per year per vehicle, for a three year period; and
  4. the contract hire of four Fiesta Vans (annual mileage 40,000 miles) from Lex Vehicle Leasing at a cost of £3,376.32 per year, per vehicle, for a three year period.

3. RESTENNETH LANDFILL SITE - LANDFILL PROTECTION WORKS PHASE 1

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 11 December 2000, there was submitted Report No 9/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection outlining the position following discussions with Biogas Technology, on the finalisation of their alternative offer for gas harvesting from the Restenneth landfill site, with electrical power generation.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to finalise the alternative offer by Biogas Technology on the installation of a gas harvesting and gas migration prevention scheme for the landfill site at Lochead/Restenneth with electrical generation; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection, the Director of Finance and the Director of Law and Administration to negotiate a contract on the best possible terms with Biogas Technology, to facilitate the installation of the scheme.

4. MINUTES

  1. Previous Meeting

    The minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 November 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

  2. Executive Sub-Committee

    The minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 11 December 2000, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (Appendix 1).

5. FOOD LABELLING REVIEW: ACTION PLAN

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 April 2000, there was submitted Report No 11/01 (29k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Food Standards Agency Board had agreed an action plan for food labelling. The Plan identified the five main areas which the Agency had identified as priority for changes, including a number of voluntary initiatives. The Report indicated that the Plan should simplify the complicated area of food labelling enforcement and sought the support of the Committee for the general approach by the Food Standards Agency.

Having heard various members on the need for clear labelling which would include the country of origin and nutritional values, the Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to support the general approach by the Food Standards Agency.

6. THE PHILLIPS REPORT ON BSE FROM A FOOD AUTHORITY PERSPECTIVE

There was submitted Report No 12/01 (32k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection reporting on the results of the Inquiry which had been established under the chairmanship of Lord Phillips to investigate the circumstances associated with the BSE affair which was the most serious foodborne infection in the history of the British Food Industry. The Report, which had taken 2½ years to produce, criticised Government decisions and enforcement standards which had applied at the time. The Report expressed the hope that all levels of government could learn from the mistakes highlighted in the Phillips Report and that food authorities should be given adequate lead-in-time, funding and guidance in relation to legislation to enable them to protect the consumer effectively and prevent a similar food crisis occurring in the future.

Having heard various members on the need for adequate resources and guidance in relation to future food law, the Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

7. AUTHORISATIONS UNDER THE FOOD SAFETY ACT - CODE OF PRACTICE 19

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 March 1996, there was submitted Report No 13/01 (12k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking the authorisation of the Council, as food authority, for certain non-Environmental Health Officers to enforce provisions and legislation, where the Council had statutory responsibility, and to appoint a Lead Officer for food safety.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to authorise Officers of the Environmental & Consumer Protection Department holding the Higher Certificate in Food Premises Inspection and who were authorised to carry out food hygiene inspections, to undertake enforcement action to the extent of the service of Improvement Notices under Section 10 of the Food Safety Act 1990;
  2. to authorise Officers of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department holding the Diploma in Environmental Health from REHIS (or its antecedents) or the Higher Certificate in Food Standards Enforcement from SFSORB, to undertake food sampling and food standards inspection and enforcement, in terms of the Food Safety Act 1990, and Regulations made under that Act; and
  3. to appoint the Principal Environmental Health Officer (Food Safety) as the Council's Lead Officer under Code of Practice 19, to be responsible for food hygiene and safety matters and also Lead Officer responsible for food standards matters.

8. HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMISSION - STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 14/01 (28k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection providing an update on the progress made in the delivery of The Health and Safety Commission Strategic Plan. The Report highlighted the Plan's long term targets to reduce working days lost due to work related injury and ill health, and to reduce major injury accidents, by 2010.

Having heard various members on the resource implications for the Council in terms of its health and safety enforcement role, the Committee agreed to note the Report.

9. GAS SAFETY REGIME - THE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMISSION'S PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 15/01 (12k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Health and Safety Commission had recently published proposals for a radical change to the way in which gas safety would be regulated in future. It was proposed that responsibility for gas safety enforcement for domestic premises, apart from local authority owned houses, would be transferred to local authorities.

The Report concluded that there would be considerable resource and training implications for enforcement staff within Angus Council, in particular if a more pro-active service were to be adopted.

Having heard various members on the increased burden to the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department and the need for adequate Government funding, the Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

10. STRATEGIC WASTE FUND GRANT FOR RECYCLING 2000/2001

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 7/01 (34k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of a grant to local authorities from the Scottish Executive to improve recycling and outlining the spend plan submitted in support of the proposals for the £75,000 made available to Angus.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to homologate the action taken by the Convener and the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection in their submissions that the grant funding be allocated to improve recycling operations undertaken by the Angus Community Recycling Opportunity Partnership project run by Angus Council; and
  3. to approve, on the basis that the total funding of £75,000 was met by the Scottish Executive Strategy Waste Fund Grant, the spend plan outlined in the Report which included:-
    Employment of a driver £16,000
    Purchase of can separator £8,600
    Purchase of paper shredder/baler £18,900
    Purchase of a fuel collection vehicle and trailer £26,500
    Joint Tayside Waste Analysis £3,000
    Joint Area Waste Strategy Public Consultation Exercise £2,000

11. TAYSIDE AREA WASTE STRATEGY - ELECTED MEMBERS INVOLVEMENT

There was submitted Report No 16/01 (31k) by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection seeking approval for Angus Council elected members to become involved with the Tayside Area Waste Strategy with a similar involvement being sought from Dundee City Council and Perth and Kinross Council. The Report proposed that a Member/Officer Group be established to oversee the development of Area Waste Plans and to understand decisions which impacted on the management of waste which the local authorities were responsible for managing. The Group would comprise two elected members and two officials from each local authority and would be hosted in rotation. The proposed terms of reference would be:-

The Committee agreed that the Convener of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee and the Convener of the Development Control Committee (or their substitutes from the relevant Committee) act as Angus Council nominees on the Tayside Area Waste Strategy Member Officer Group.

12. LOO OF THE YEAR AWARDS

The Committee was advised of the Council's success in achieving a number of awards in the national "Loo of the Year" award sponsored by the Tourist Boards of England, Wales and Scotland.

Angus had received the following awards:-

Arbroath, Market Place Commendation 2001 Attendant of the Year

Brechin, Church Street Commendation 2001 Attendant of the Year

Forfar, Buttermarket Commendation 2001 Attendant of the Year

Kirriemuir, Reform Street Commendation 2001 Attendant of the Year

Montrose, Baltic Street Award 2001 Attendant of the Year

The Committee congratulated the staff involved and noted that all five of the Council's "super loo" teams had received awards, maintaining the Council's position as an authority providing consistently high standards of public toilets.

13. PERFORMANCE NETWORKS

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 November 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 41/2001 by the Contract Services Manager, the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Director of Recreation Services advising members of the outcome of the APSE (formerly ADLO) Performance Networks which could now be used in Best Value Benchmarking of Sports and Leisure Management, Parks and Open Spaces, Building Cleaning and Transport Services.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to ask each relevant Chief Officer to ensure that the benchmarking and information provided be utilised to improve the Angus performance, where necessary.

The following matter was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency in view of the recent closure of G & B Builders, Forfar.

14. BRECHIN RECYCLING CENTRE

The Convener advised that, due to the well publicised closure of G & B Builders, Forfar who had been the main contractors for the Brechin Recycling Centre Project, there would be a delay in the completion of the Centre. In the meantime, the Brechin Bridge Civil Amenity Site would be manned, but would be closed during evenings. A port-a-cabin would be provided for the staff member with the site open 7 days a week from 8.15 am until 5.00 pm.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

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