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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 10 April 2001 at 4.00pm.

Present: Councillors SHEENA WELSH, STEWART McGLYNN, WILLIAM CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, ALISTAIR GRAY, PETER MURPHY, ROBERT MILES, PETER NIELD and BILL ROBERTON.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors IAN ANGUS, JOHN HENDERSON, IAN MACKINTOSH and JOY MOWATT.

Councillor WELSH, Convener, in the Chair.

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, the Committee joined with the Convener in expressing sympathy to Councillor Mackintosh who had suffered a recent bereavement.

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. VEHICLE AND PLANT TENDERS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 435/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection detailing tenders received for a vehicle and plant.

The Committee agreed to note the tenders received in respect of a vehicle 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 2 of Financial Regulations, and his acceptance of the following tenders, namely:-

  1. the purchase of one Access bus from A M Philip, Muiryfaulds, Forfar amounting to £29,485; and
  2. the purchase of one paper shredder/baler from HSM Presses, Willenhall, West Midlands, amounting to £20,021.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. FOOT AND MOUTH ANIMAL MOVEMENT LICENSING

The Committee was advised that, during the current foot and mouth epidemic, the animal health function of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department had been responsible for issuing Animal Movement Licences to permit conditional movement of cattle, sheep and pigs from farm to abattoir.

As only one Animal Health Inspector/Pest Control Advisor was employed by Angus Council, this duty to issue licences to a tight timescale had resulted in the formation of a four person team to issue licences, provide advice and enforce licence conditions. To date, over 536 Movement Licences had been issued and more than 750 enquiries had been dealt with from personal callers and telephone calls. This work involved an out of hours and weekend rota and the overtime payment incurred would be met from within the Departmental Budget.

Having heard Councillor Myles on the need for licences, the Committee agreed to note the position.

5. EUROPEAN ANNOUNCEMENT ON EUROPEAN WIDE BEEF MARKETS

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, the Committee agreed to note the replies which had been received from Ian Hudghton MEP and Dr Caroline Ferguson, Food Standards Agency Policy Officer, copies of which had been circulated with the agenda.

6. THE FRAMEWORK ON LOCAL AUTHORITY FOOD LAW ENFORCEMENT

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 September 1998, there was submitted Report No 410/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising of a framework document by the Food Standards Agency which defined the standards and auditing processes by which the performance of Angus Council would be assessed. The Report indicated that the implementation of this document had afforded the opportunity to view and update the Environmental and Consumer Protection Department's present food safety enforcement policies and set out, in the Appendices, enforcement policies in relation to food safety, food standards and food sampling.

The Report concluded that this was yet another change which local authorities were expected to implement with no further funding from Central Government.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to adopt the enforcement policies attached to the Report.

7. REGULATION OF SKIN PIERCING

There was submitted Report No 411/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising that the Scottish Executive was seeking views on the adequacy of the current statutory provisions for skin piercing in Scotland and had requested suggestions for additional controls which might be necessary.

The Report detailed the present legal situation, assessed the risk of infestation and set out options for the future. The Report concluded, that whilst the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provided a framework for regulation of these activities, certain weaknesses were apparent. The Report therefore recommended a scheme of registration and conditions of licence for premises across Scotland, to be administered by Scottish Local Authorities, under Section 44 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to instruct the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection to reply to the consultation document, in the terms detailed in the Report.

8. ACCOUNTS COMMISSION -- PERFORMANCE INDICATORS 1999/2000

There was submitted Joint Report No 412/01 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection indicating that the Accounts Commission, through Audit Scotland, had recently completed the 1999/2000 audit of environmental services. The Report outlined the results of the Accounts Commission's study of Performance Indicators 1999/2000 for Environmental Services and highlighted those services applicable to the Contract Services and Environmental and Consumer Protection Committees.

The Committee congratulated the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection on the excellent results achieved by his Department, and for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note and approve the terms of the Report; and
  2. to note that the full Accounts Commission Report was available in the Members' Lounge.

9. BEST VALUE SERVICE REVIEW ­ WASTE DISPOSAL

With reference to Article 5(c) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 August 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 413/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Contract Services Manager indicating that, in accordance with the Best Value Service Review timetable, a review on waste disposal had been conducted jointly between the Contract Services and Environmental and Consumer Protection Departments. The outcome of the review was set out in the Report together with an Action Plan which would be implemented during the financial year 2001/2002.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the contents of the Review of Waste Disposal and endorse the implementation of the Action Plan.

10. WASTE DISPOSAL CHARGES REVIEW

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 September 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 414/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Contract Services Manager indicating that, with the continuous increase in the cost of operating landfill, it would be necessary to recover the cost increases from the landfill site customers and proposing a schedule of charges for private sector customers.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the charges structure outlined in the Report.

11. WASTE MANAGEMENT BULKY UPLIFT REVISED ARRANGEMENTS

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 September 2000, there was submitted Report No 415/01 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection outlining a revised access system applicable to household customers utilising the Council's bulky waste uplift scheme, which had been introduced in response to an Audit Scotland Report on Benchmarking of Refuse Collection Arrangements.

Having heard Councillor McGlynn express regret regarding Audit Scotland's recommendation to introduce charges, the Committee agreed to implement the access scheme for bulky household waste uplifts, as outlined in the Report.

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