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Issue - meetings

Environmental Health Enforcement Policy - including Fixed Penalty Policy and fine levels for environmental offences

Meeting: 17/11/2021 - Executive (Item 59)

59 Environmental Health Enforcement Policy and Fixed Penalty Scheme pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve the updated and refreshed Environmental Health Enforcement Policy, and the Appendix  setting out the use of Fixed Penalty Notices, and to authorise the Head of Community Services to approve future minor amendments in consultation with One Legal and the Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment.

Subject To Call In:: Yes - No action to be taken prior to the expiry of the call-in period.

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That the updated and refreshed Environmental Health Enforcement Policy, and Appendix 1 to the report setting out the use of Fixed Penalty Notices, be APPROVED.

2.    That the Head of Community Services be authorised to approve any future minor amendments, in consultation with the Borough Solicitor and the Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment.  

Minutes:

59.1          The report of the Interim Environmental Health Manager, circulated at Pages No. 70-95, set out a refreshed Environmental Health Enforcement Policy, including the use of Fixed Penalty Notices, which Members were asked to approve.

59.2          The Head of Community Services explained that the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy was subject to periodic review following its adoption by the Council in August 2017. The principles contained in the policy were reflected in the Council’s overarching Corporate Enforcement Policy which was adopted in 2020. The draft policy, with proposed changes highlighted, was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and Councillors were asked to note that there were no material changes other than updating legislation and house-keeping changes; however, one of the main changes was that the Fixed Penalty Notice Scheme would form part of the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy and be added as an Appendix. In March 2021, the Executive Committee had approved the Council’s approach to Civil Penalty, Rent Repayment Order and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in Privately Rented Homes and that scheme would also be added to the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy as an Appendix – there was no change proposed to that element of the policy.

59.3          A Member questioned whether the levels of fines were statutory and was advised that in the main they were. There was some leeway in whether the Council wanted to offer early payment discounts and Officers tended to think that worked. Another Member expressed concern that the Council’s Enforcement Officers could not catch everyone that they needed to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to and she questioned how many had been issued for dog fouling. In response, the Head of Community Services advised that there had been one or two issued – he agreed there was a problem in that the Officer had to be there, or a witness statement received, before a Fixed Penalty Notice was issued.

59.4          Accordingly, it was

Action By: HComS