Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 8 November 2011
27 (27) REVIEW OF THE WINTER SERVICE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval of the revised Winter Service Policy documentation following extensive consultation that had been undertaken during the summer of 2011, and outlined the necessary adjustments to salting routes.
The previous two winter seasons had contained spells of significant adverse weather that had tested the resilience of highways winter service provision both locally and nationally. In order to improve North Lincolnshire Council’s response to future similar events the Director of Infrastructure Services gave an undertaking to review the service prior to the winter season 2011/12, and an extensive consultation exercise was carried out.
The report set out North Lincolnshire Council’s policy framework that was based on previous policies but had been updated to take account of the key issues that had emerged from the consultation exercise. As a result of the analysis, an increase in the precautionary salted routes was proposed. It was explained that the main change was to the secondary salted routes where the criteria had been adjusted to achieve a more robust and inclusive network taking into account schools, bus routes and other key locations and in addition, the timescale for secondary route activation would be reduced from 48 hours of continuous sub zero air temperatures to 24 hours.
The recommended option was to adopt the policy in full as it was considered that this reflected the outcomes of the consultation, included some essential changes and was fully funded. It was also clarified that the policy included improvements that were consistent with national guidance on winter service provision.
The Director of Infrastructure Services highlighted the work and commitment of all officers that had been involved with the preparation of the revised policy, and asked that his thanks be purveyed to all concerned. This was acknowledged and endorsed also by the Cabinet Member.
Resolved – (a) That following the analysis of consultation feedback, the implementation of the Winter Service Policy detailed in paragraphs 2.4 and 2.7 of the report be approved, and (b) that the additional recommendations with regard to the salting routes, as set out within the Winter Service Policy be approved.
28 (28) FOOD SERVICE PLAN 2011/2012 – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report seeking approval of the Authority’s Food Service Plan for 2011/2012.
Each Food Authority was required to prepare an annual Service Plan setting out its proposed food service activities for the year. The Food Service Plan 2011/2012 detailed how the available resources would be deployed by the Food and Safety Team in the Communities and Environment Division and the Trading Standards Division to deliver the broad range of activities required by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and European law. It incorporated a broadening of the service to deliver a number of food safety projects targeting specific high profile food safety topics, and as in previous years confirmed that resources would be deployed to secure high levels of compliance at the highest risk premises.
Under the Food Standards Act 1999 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had the power to set standards in relation to Local Authority enforcement of food law. As a Unitary Authority North Lincolnshire was responsible for the enforcement of both Food Safety and Food Standards (Consumer Protection) legislation, the council also had responsibility for the composition and safety of Animal Feeding Stuffs, which was seen as affecting the ultimate safety of the human food chain.
The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services asked that his thanks be purveyed to all officers who had been involved with the preparation of the revised policy. This was acknowledged and endorsed also by the Cabinet Member.
Resolved – That the Food Service Plan 2011/2012 be approved.
29 (29) HEALTH AND SAFETY SERVICE PLAN 2011-2012 – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report seeking approval of the Health and Safety Service Plan for the period 2011-2012.
The Plan had been prepared in accordance with mandatory guidance provided by the Health and Safety Executive and set out the council’s proposed activities for the year 2011 -2012, the resources available to deliver those activities, how it incorporated a continuation of the project based service delivery targeting a range of high profile safety topics with local and national significance, Resources would be deployed to secure high levels of compliance at the highest risk premises.
Mandatory guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) required the council to make adequate arrangements for the health and safety enforcement function. The guidance stipulated an enforcement framework that should be adopted to enable the council to demonstrate that adequate arrangements were being made.
The Health and Safety Service Plan 2011/2012 (Appendix 1) detailed how the available resources would be deployed to deliver the broad range of activities which constituted the Council’s arrangements for heath and safety enforcement in North Lincolnshire,
The attached Plan has been prepared in accordance with the mandatory guidance provided by the HSE. The Council has met the standards contained in the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Making a Difference Strategy’ and will be subject to an inter authority audit during 2011/12. Maintaining this standard was a priority for the health and safety function.
Resolved – That the Health and Safety Service Plan 2011-2012 (Appendix 1 to the report) be approved.
30 (30) HOUSING ENFORCEMENT POLICY 2011 – The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report seeking adoption of a revised housing enforcement policy which encompassed all changes to housing legislation and sought approval for further consultation with external organisations, partners and interested individuals to further revise the policy prior to adoption.
The functions covered by the report were delegated to the Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services who in turn appointed officers and made decisions on the most appropriate course of action in any given legal proceeding, having previously received advice from the Service Director for Legal & Democratic (now Director of Corporate & Community Services).
It was explained that the housing enforcement policy had not been reviewed since 2003 and was in need of updating to include all revisions made to legislation and to ensure that it met statutory guidance and reflected best practice.
The Cabinet Member was advised that consultation would take place through existing networks of internal and external partners, and organisations and individuals such as landlords and Registered Providers.
Resolved – (a) That the need for a revised Housing Enforcement Policy be acknowledged, (b) that further consultation on the draft Housing Enforcement Policy 2011 (appendix 1) to encompass the views of internal and external partners and interested parties be approved, and (c) that the revised Enforcement Policy be brought back to the Cabinet Member for approval in January following the consultation exercise.
Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.