Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 19 September 2013

Since implementation of the Places third tier management review, closer working links had developed with colleagues across the teams in the Technical and Environment Services division. In order to make better use of the collective resources and operate in a more flexible way it was proposed to introduce generic Trading Standards Officer (TSO) posts.

It was explained that resources could then be better deployed as appropriate to respond to the needs of the customers and any emerging issues as they transpired.

It was considered that the creation of the new post would allow more flexibility in how Trading Standards delivered their services going forward, by increasing the range of enforcement functions that could be carried out compared to existing Enforcement Officer posts.

Resolved – (a) That a new post of generic TSO (Grade 8) as outlined in the report be approved, and (b) that the deletion of an Enforcement Officer (Grade 8) be approved.

76        (23) TECHNICAL AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES – ENFORCEMENT POLICY 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval to adopt a revised Enforcement Policy for Technical and Environment Services.

It was explained that there was a requirement for the Enforcement Policy to be reviewed on a regular basis.  Officers had reviewed and updated the policy to make sure that it continued to meet statutory guidance and reflect best practice.

The revised Technical and Environment Enforcement Policy 2013 was appended to the report.

Resolved – That the Technical and Enforcement Policy 2013 appended to the report be approved and adopted.

77        (24) SCRAP METAL DEALERS ACT 2013 – The Director of Places submitted a report to advise the Cabinet Member of the changes to arrangements for dealing with Scrap Metal Dealers brought in by the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

The Act created a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries.

The Act legislated that scrap metal dealers would now need to obtain a licence in order to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.  It would be an offence to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer without first obtaining a licence and this offence was punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 (£5,000).

The Act maintained local authorities as the principal regulator but gave them power by allowing them to refuse to grant a licence to an ‘unsuitable’ applicant, or to revoke a licence if an applicant became ‘unsuitable’. A number of factors would determine suitability including any unspent relevant criminal convictions.

The Cabinet Member was advised that a fee would apply to any application for a licence.  The local authority would be responsible for setting fees on a cost recovery basis.  They would have a duty to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Having considered the implications and administrative process of the regime, it was proposed to set the fee level for a site licence at £885.00 and for itinerants at £290.00.

Resolved – That the report be approved and preparations begin to ensure that the council is compliant with the new Act on 1 October 2013.

78        (25)  BECKSIDE, BARTON UPON HUMBER – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval to make an adverse possession claim for a piece of land in Barton upon Humber known as Beckside into North Lincolnshire Council’s ownership.

If the claim was successful, it was explained that the Barton Civic Society would take on the management and maintenance of the site under the guidance of the Environment Team.

Jointly, both Legal Services and the Environment Team had researched the potential claim of this piece of land.  This research had revealed that all relevant documentation showed there to be no identifiable owner of the land. In addition to this the only previous maintenance and works to the site were carried out by Glanford Borough Council and then North Lincolnshire Council. No other person or group appeared to have exercised any ownership rights over the site both historically and more recently.

Further details of the proposal were outlined within the report.

Resolved – (a)That the council pursues an adverse possession claim for the land on the basis that we and our predecessor authorities have managed the site as if we are the owners and that no other party has exercised such rights over the site; (b) that the council supports Barton Civic Society in its endeavours to attract external funding for a restoration project aimed at retaining water on the site, and (c) that if the council is successful in claiming ownership and Barton Civic Society is successful in getting funding for a scheme, the Director of Places be authorised to enter into an agreement to allow the group to manage the area.

79        (26) HIGHWAYS PROGRAMMES OF WORKS – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval of changes to the Local Transport Plan (LTP) programme of works, provide details of the latest position and make amendments to additional capital and revenue programmes provided in 2013/14.

The LTP submission set out transport priorities for the council over a 15-year period and as part of the LTP submission, councils were required to produce three-year delivery plans.  These delivery plans set out the programme of themes and expected outcomes for the next three years.

Further details of the programme and adjustments were outlined within the report and associated appendices.

Resolved – (a) That the Cabinet Member approves the changes to the LTP programme of works as set out in paragraph 2.8 of the report, and (b) that the Cabinet Member notes the latest position in relation to all highways programmes of work (excluding general maintenance programmes) as set out in appendix 1, 2 and 3.