Neighbourhood, Environmental and Communities Cabinet Member – Minutes – 30 September 2008

In November 2005 the council declared an Air Quality Management Area in relation to breaches of the 24-hour mean Air Quality Objective for PM10. This existing AQMA was centred on the integrated steelworks site and covered Santon and the eastern part of Scunthorpe. Declaration of the AQMA in 2005 and the subsequent Action Plan work had enabled the council to push forward practical measures to improve air quality in partnership with local industry, the Environment Agency and other key stakeholders.

Further assessment of air quality for this existing AQMA identified a breach of the annual mean Air Quality Objective at the Low Santon monitoring site. Data from the High Santon monitoring site and all other sites within the monitoring network showed no indication of a breach of the annual mean air quality objective beyond the Low Santon area. This was taken into account in defining the boundary of the proposed new AQMA, which was shown on the map attached to the report.

Resolved – That the boundary of the AQMA, which will enable the area to be designated officially by means of an “order” by the Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment, be confirmed.

49 (10) YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER TRADING STANDARDS GROUP SCAMBUSTING TEAM – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report seeking approval to authorise members of the Yorkshire and the Humber Scambusting Team to operate within North Lincolnshire.

In 2006 Government funded pilot scambuster teams to tackle rogue traders who operated across local authority boundaries. The focus was to be on real crooks who set out deliberately to defraud consumers across a large geographical area. Activities targeted included doorstep traders, counterfeiters, prize draw scams and cowboy builders.

Following the success of the pilots, Government made available £7.5 million to set up scambusting teams in all of the regions. The Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards Group submitted a bid and in June the Consumer Affairs Minister agreed a three year funding package of £749,600 for the region.

The City of York Council was to manage the initiative and also provide a base for the team. For the team to be effective, they had to be free to carry out investigations and enquiries across the region. Trading Standards staff were normally only authorised to take action with the boundaries of their own authority. It would therefore be necessary for each authority in the region to authorise the scambusting team members to enforce specific pieces of legislation. North Lincolnshire Council would retain responsibility for instituting proceedings for offences committed in this area.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to authorise members of the Yorkshire and Humber Scambusting Team to act within North Lincolnshire be approved, and (b) that the Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment, in accordance with delegated powers, authorise members of the Scambusting Team to enforce the provisions of specific legislation and approve any necessary protocols.

50 (11) TRAINEE TRADING STANDARDS OFFICER – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report seeking approval to convert the established post of Trainee Trading Standards Officer from a single grade to a career grade post.

In June 2002, a trainee Trading Standards Officer post was established on Grade 1. On successful completion of the Diploma in Trading Standards (DTS) qualification, the trainee was appointed as a Trading Standards Officer.

Since April 2005 the post had remained unfilled due to budgetary constraints. However, additional government funding for enforcing new legislation had now been provided to Trading Standards Services.

Radical changes have been made to the Trading Standards qualification regime. As well as the traditional post graduate route, a new modular system has been introduced. A restructured post of Trainee would enable a person with the required educational qualification to come into Trading Standards at the bottom of Grade 3 and then progress to Grade 4 and Grade 7 after successfully completing elements of the new qualification framework. Due to the need to demonstrate practical skills and experience, the trainee will be involved in all areas of enforcement activity and over time would become an increasingly valuable resource

Resolved _ (a) That the proposal to convert the established post of Trainee Trading Standards Officer from a single grade to a career grade post, as set out in the report, be supported, and (b) that the report be forwarded to the Corporate Service Cabinet Member for approval.