To provide members with an update on enforcement activity (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place which provided members with an update on enforcement activity.
The Council was responsible for enforcing a wide range of legislation, with powers of enforcement usually delegated to individual officers in the various service areas concerned. Enforcement activity in the Council was extensive and included planning enforcement, contraventions of building regulations, littering, fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour, abandoned vehicles, evictions, possessions, prohibition orders, food safety, health and safety, licensing, noise nuisance and pollution. The activity covered individuals, public areas, homes and businesses.
With regard to enforcement data, performance indicators created for the current financial year commenced on 1 April 2019, requiring all teams across the authority with enforcement responsibilities to report on their enforcement on a quarterly basis, and information on the first two quarters was detailed within the report. Also detailed within the report were some enforcement case examples, covering Fly-Tipping; Planning; a Without Notice Injunction; and a Failure to license a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Members considered the information detailed within the report, and the following issues were raised:
· Members commented that under the Communities service area, it would be useful for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping information to be broken down. Officers agreed that this would be useful – an appendix could be added, to include information for all departments to make it clearer to pick out detail.
· Members commented that with regard to informal notices, the warning letters, prosecutions and financial penalties for quarters 1 and 2 seemed disproportionate. Officers advised that PSPO warning letters were now included in the numbers within the report, which were not included within the Q1 figures.
· Press publicity for enforcement work undertaken was good. It was important that the public knew of anti-social issues, and that they noted times, dates and incidences when reporting them. Officers agreed, and stated that it was also important to work with people to find the best way forward.
· Members commented that feedback was frequently requested regarding progress on a number of untidy sites– communication regarding what was being done was insufficient, and it thus appeared that no progress was being made. Members were advised that work was being undertaken on these properties however, it was felt that communication had to improve and there needed to be a consistent message provided. Members responded that it may be useful to set up a Task Group to look into untidy sites, how the Authority dealt with them, and how communication was undertaken. A report detailing this information was requested to the next meeting, when a decision would be made as to whether to pursue a Task Group.
a) That the content of the report be noted;
b) That a further update be provided to the Performance Monitoring Panel in six months’ time; and
c) That a report be presented to the next meeting of the Panel providing details of untidy sites, how the Authority dealt with them and how communication on progress was undertaken.