Agenda item

Corporate Enforcement Update

To provide Members with an update on enforcement activity across the Council (report of the Assistant Director Wellbeing & Community Leadership enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director Wellbeing and Community, which provided an update on enforcement activity across the Council.

 

The Communities Manager introduced the report with an overview which had included:

  • that the policy had a wide range of legislative powers and enforcement across council services which included: Environmental Protection; Licensing; Food, Health and Safety; Communities; Planning; Housing; and Building Control;
  • confirmation of the incremental enforcement approach which had been taken: compliance; advice and warnings; appropriate and proportionate enforcement action;
  • that a Corporate Enforcement Policy update would be delivered to the next Policy Development Panel meeting;
  • that enforcement activity for 2020/2021 had been included in the report; and
  • recommendations of the report had been to provide quarterly updates.

 

The Panel considered the update and made the following comments:

  • Members stated that fly-tipping reports had not been followed up. Known problem areas had existed in the district, particularly near fast-food outlets on the A17, where CCTV had been needed. Had there been a robust attempt to improve?
  • The Communities Manager requested details of any specific incidents that had caused concern regarding follow up. Evidence had been needed for action to have taken place.  There had been challenges around the security of temporary cameras however advancements in technology had provided a solution for their use in Q4. Proposals had been developed which allowed specific fly-tipping incidents to be dealt with through Fixed Penalty Notices rather than court action.
  • Members stated that improved detection and enforcement needed to be considered. Resources had been needed and included within council budgets. Where new fast-food sites had been proposed, it was suggested that planning conditions needed to consider the disposal of branded waste.
  • Various points were made by members around the culture of littering and fly-tipping. Prevention measures, which included signage, had been successful in neighbouring districts. Enforcement responsibilities had been within the remit of local authorities and needed to be utilised where necessary. Members thanked the Spalding Wombles volunteers for their work in the district.

 

  • Members commented that the early presentation of waste had caused problems in the district and that increased resources had been needed to deal with the issue.
    • The Communities Manager responded that action had been difficult where waste had been presented early at communal collection points where individual identities had not been clear. Warning letters had been sent to residents in the vicinity of communal areas where no individual perpetrator had been identified.

 

  • Members asked whether the 81 fixed penalty notices and the court fines issued had been paid?
    • The Communities Manager stated that court fine cases had been followed from issue date through to payment and that fixed penalty fines had been individually tracked and payment pursued. Payment status updates for the 81 Fixed Penalty Notices issued had not been available as cases had straddled different financial years. Performance data for Fixed Penalty Notices issued for specified financial years could be interrogated if required.

 

  • Members queried why training had not taken place to increase the number of qualified officers needed to undertake animal establishment inspections.
    • The question would be referred to the relevant officer and the information circulated to members of the Committee.

 

 

AGREED:

 

 

a)    That the content of the report be noted;

 

b)    That data within the report be provided to Members on a quarterly basis as part of the Performance report; and

 

c)    That the comments be noted with the following recommendations:

  • action be taken to address issues raised; and
  • performance improvements to be demonstrated in the following 6 monthly report; and
  • that the policy be strengthened to aid improvements.

Supporting documents: