Governance and Transformation Cabinet Member – Minutes – 12 October 2016

The council must carry out a review of pollution every year.  Industrial, domestic and traffic sources must be compared with limits for major pollutants.

The Annual Status Report for 2016 showed that there were no breaches of air quality objectives in 2015.

The council would now review the current Air Quality Action Plan to ensure it contained effective measures to reduce the impact of industry on air quality in Scunthorpe.  The council would work with local industry and the Environment Agency to achieve this.

In addition, DEFRA now required the council to monitor and report on fine particulate matter (PM2.5).  The council would install a monitor to achieve this.  A detailed assessment was being prepared to determine if the council needed to retain the two Air Quality Management Areas.

A list of stakeholders that would be consulted on the 2016 Annual Status Report was contained at Appendix A to the report.

Resolved – (a) That consultation on the 2016 Annual Status Report be approved, and (b) that any relevant feedback be incorporated into the report and officers produce the final document for publication.

 

27      (27)    COST RECOVERY FOR NATIONAL FOOD HYGIENE RATING SCHEME RE-INSPECTION REQUESTS – The Director of Places circulated a report that explored a cost recovery scheme that would apply only where requests were received for a rescoring re-inspection of a food business under the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (NFHRS).

The council had been part of the NFHRS since 2011.  Premises in it were rated after they were inspected and provided with a sticker to enable them to display their rating at their premises.  Ratings were publicised via the council and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) websites.  Consumers appreciate the scheme.  It enabled them to make an informed choice about the food businesses that they choose to use.

The NFHRS allowed food business operators to request a rescore of their business after they had received an inspection.  This allowed any improvements that they had made to be reflected in a revised score. Currently there was no charge for this service.

Under the Localism Act 2011, a charge can be made for this service.  The FSA had provided a legal view to support this assessment, which was contained at Appendix A to the report.

The FSA had invited the council to participate in a pilot project to introduce cost recovery.  Feedback would then inform a proposed national cost recovery roll out in 2017.

Charges were only proposed where the re-inspection service was requested by the food business.  They were not intended to be applied to any other statutory service relating to food safety enforcement.

The cost recovered for each re-inspection request was based on FSA guidance which reflected the charges currently applied in Wales where the display of the NFHRS rating was mandatory.  This was contained at Appendix 2.

Charges under the Localism Act 2011 were required not to exceed the cost of delivery.  The charge proposed was £120.00.  This compared with the current charge in Wales of £160.00.  From limited research it had been established that a very small number of English authorities were currently charging, typically around £150.00.

Only 5 % of the 800 inspections carried out in 2015/16 generated requests for re-inspections.

Resolved – (a) That the introduction of a cost recovery scheme, as detailed in the report be approved, and (b) that the cost recovery scheme be implemented as soon as was practicable.

The corresponding reports on the following items (Minutes 28 and 29 refer) contain exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

28      (28)    COMMUNITY WARDENS AND PARKING – The Director of Places submitted a report that sought approval for additional Community Wardens in the Community Warden and Parking Team of the Places Directorate.

In 2015 a review of the Community Warden and Parking Team was carried out, to take account of a wider role around neighbourhood related matters and enforcement issues.  As a result, four Community Wardens were appointed.

The potential for the team to deliver front line services had increased.  As a result, the need for extra support had been identified.  It was proposed to introduce four more community wardens to improve the effectiveness of the team.  The proposed structure would enable the team to deliver a more robust enforcement framework across North Lincolnshire, to meet increased demand.

The current approved structure included two Community Warden Supervisors (one urban and one rural) and four Community Wardens, all of whom had full neighbourhood enforcement powers, including for dealing with parking contraventions.  There were three Assistant Community Wardens, with more limited enforcement powers to deal mainly with parking issues, but who also had wider responsibilities for reporting (but not enforcing) neighbourhood matters.  To complete the enforcement team there was a further Assistant Community Warden/Parking Assistant post, who worked flexibly across both administrative and community warden activities to maximise flexibility.

The proposed structure would retain the current distinction of duties, but would increase the number of Community Wardens to eight.  The current approved organisational structure was contained at Appendix A to the report, with the proposed organisational structure shown at Appendix B.

Resolved – (a) That the revised structure for the Community Warden and Parking Team, as detailed at Appendix B to the report be approved, and (b) that the structure be implemented as soon as practicable.

29      (29)    REVIEW OF STRATEGY AND BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT TEAM – The Director of Places submitted a report that sought to review the structure of the Strategy and Business and Improvement Team.

The Strategy and Business Improvement Team provided key support to all areas of the Places directorate.

As a result of a streamline to a number of business processes within the directorate, and the changing needs of the service, a review of the Team had been undertaken.

The current approved organisational structure was contained at Appendix A to the report, with the proposed organisational structure shown at Appendix B.

Resolved – That the revised structure for the Strategy and Business Improvement Team, as detailed at Appendix B to the report be approved, and (b) that the structure be implemented as soon as practicable.