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Election of Chairman
To elect a Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
Councillor Woolf was elected Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
Declaration of Interests
Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest.
To provide members with an update on enforcement activity since the introduction of the new Corporate Enforcement Policy (report of the Executive Director – Place is enclosed).
Members received a report by the Executive Director – Place which set out at update on corporate enforcement. It was noted that 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 action could take different forms including:
· Inspecting premises, processes, equipment or food;
· Investigating complaints about individuals and business;
· Providing advice about how to comply with the law;
· Taking action at Licensing Panels or undertaking Licensing Reviews;
· Issuing fixed penalty notices, statutory notices or taking prosecutions.
All departments dealing with enforcement did so in line with the Corporate Enforcement Policy approved on 29th May 2018. All services adopted a graduated approach to enforcement; starting with compliance advice or warnings and progressing to other enforcement activity where proportionate and appropriate.
The Panel was pleased to learn that performance indicators had been created for the current financial year (commencing 1 April 2019), requiring all teams across the authority with enforcement responsibilities to report on their enforcement on a quarterly basis. An Enforcement Operational Managers Group has also been established to meet and refine enforcement activity across the Council.
Councillors considered and discussed the performance information for the period April – June 2019 along with enforcement case studies. In response to a number of questions the following key points emerged:
· Councillors thanked officers for the work that had been undertaken on enforcement and it was considered that the publicity around enforcement was having an effect.
· With regard to the 101 informal notice warning letters, different legislation was used for different circumstances. Information relating in particular to the actions following the informal action taken with regard to housing would be circulated to Councillors.
· It was noted that 98.4% of food hygiene inspections were rated 3 stars or above which indicated legal compliance. Councillors would be informed of what percentage were 5 stars. It was noted that inspections were carried out on a risk basis, with highest risk being factories and low risk being, for example, wrapped food at a filling station. Low risk inspections were carried out every couple of years, high risk every 6 months. There were currently 10 establishments below 3 stars. A rating would stay with the establishment until the next re-rating which applicants would have to pay for. There was no legal requirement for an establishment to display its star rating, but Councillors were invited to let Environmental Health know if they saw ratings displayed that were more than a couple of years old.
· Informal notices had been used on 22 occasions by the Communities Team and issued by the Anti-social Behaviour Officer and Community Warden. They were issued for behaviour such as littering, spitting or failure to hand over alcohol in prohibited areas.
· Councillors discussed the problem of gathering evidence in cases of anti-social behaviour. However, the Anti-social Behaviour Officer invited councillors to speak to them about individual cases where, if applicable, enforcement action could be taken.
· The Panel noted that ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
There were no urgent items.