Venue: Norfolk Rooms, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies (Agenda item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 4)
Members are no longer required to declare personal or prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in the Register of Interests. Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.
In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.
Councillor Armes declared an interest in agenda item 8 due to her being a member of the 100 Club in Thetford of which her husband was in charge.
Presentation on Health & Safety and Environmental Protection from the responsible authorities.
David Osborne, the Team Leader (Food, Health & Safety) provided Members with a detailed overview of the work covered by the Food, Health & Safety Team and how it supported licensing activities (presentation attached).
The main functions of the Team were:
Referring to Food Safety, Members were informed that Breckland Council was responsible for 1300 premises and the Team ensured that all food was safe for human consumption minimising the risk of food poisoning and food borne disease. The Team was also responsible for food safety – preparation, handling and storage, ensured that unsafe food was removed from the food chain; investigated food complaints, unhygienic premises, poor practices; responded to national Food Alerts, food incidents and product recalls; provided food hygiene training courses/advice/information and operated the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
In relation to Health & Safety, the Team was responsible for the inspection of 2,000 work places (offices, shops, warehouses, entertainment); it minimised the risk of work related accidents & disease; investigated accidents, fatalities, disease and complaints; themed projects (gas safety, legionnaires disease); asbestos removal; noise at work; smoke free workplaces and event safety. Local authorities had the same powers as the Health & Safety Executive and both aimed to reduce work related accidents and disease.
The Team was also responsible for the prevention of the spread of communicable diseases in the community
The Food, Health & Safety Team supported a number of licensing functions consisting of street trading, animal premises (including two zoos), skin piercing and licensing consultations which included regulated entertainment. The Team had the opportunity to object or add conditions to such applications.
The key themes and objectives were highlighted.
Councillor Armes asked whether hot tubs came under the same category as saunas in relation to the prevention of legionnaire’s disease. She also asked if the Team had any control over home-baking (cakes etc that were baked for fetes etc). Members were informed that only saunas/hot tubs in business establishments would be inspected to ensure that they were being correctly sanitised. In response to the latter, the Team was more than happy to inspect and advise but cakes were at the lowest risk end of the spectrum. Advice and the need for registration in some instances were promoted through Breckland Voice.
Councillor Spencer asked if swimming pools were regularly inspected. The Team Leader explained that swimming pools were not routinely recognised as a source of legionella; however a number of inspections had been carried out in the past.
Councillor Lamb asked what the Team’s definition of illegal food was. Members were informed that it was food that did not comply with the law; for instance, someone who had not registered as a food seller, fraudulent food sales or someone who blatantly ignored food safety regulations. The meaning of fraudulent food sales was explained.
Councillor Bowes asked if spot checks were carried out on premises. Members were informed that all visits were programmed into high and low risk categories. High risk premises were inspected more regularly. ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
Overview of work carried out by the Licensing Team (Agenda item 7)
Presentation by the Licensing & Business Support Manager of work carried out by the Licensing Team over the last six months.
The Licensing & Business Support Manager provided Members with a detailed overview of the work carried out by the Licensing Team over the past six months.
The functions of the Licensing Team covered:
New areas that had recently been added were:
Members were informed that there had been significant changes in legislation in relation to dealing with scrap metal and a great deal of criminal activity was associated with this type of trade.
The Licensing Team continued to work with the Customer Service Team that currently dealt with and resolved 75% of licensing calls. This had freed up officers time across the Team.
With Lalpac, the new software package, an East of England User Group had been developed and further developments would follow.
Licensing was a service that paid for itself, and the licensing fees would be reviewed from July 2014 bearing in mind that a profit could not be generated. There were many challenges ahead in relation to new legislation but this was what made the service interesting.
The appeal from a Dereham nightclub was still on-going.
The Licensing Officer would be taking the place of the Licensing Business Support Manager whilst on maternity leave and would mainly be responsible for policies and taxis. There was more new work in the pipeline.
Councillor Armes mentioned the last Appeals Committee where a report on door to door collections had been withdrawn due to legal advice, complicated by constitutional issues. Members were informed that the Constitution was unclear as to where such matters should sit but further discussions had been had and it had been agreed that Appeals was the correct Committee.
Referring to dog licences, Members were informed that in two years time it would be compulsory for all dogs to be micro-chipped.
The minimum pricing unit for alcohol was not being taken forward the same as plain packaging for tobacco products.
The Chairman praised the Team on its work particularly with the Contact Centre. He pointed out that Breckland’s Contact Centre was very highly rated across the County.
Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.
The Licensing Officer presented the report and provided Members with an overview of the meaning of Small Society Lotteries.
The Licensing Team currently dealt with 209 fundraisers across Breckland. £40 was charged for the grant and then the fundraiser paid £20 per annum for the lottery licence. There were some private lotteries that did not require a licence. Conditions had to be included on the ticket.
Enforcement issues were explained – there were no issues in the Breckland area.
The minimum age to participate in such lotteries was 16; 18 for other types of gambling.
Referring to Temporary Event Notices, the Chairman said that he would be happy to email the weekly list he received to Committee Members.
The report was otherwise noted.
Next Meeting (Additional item)
The arrangements for the next meeting on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room were noted.
Councillor Armes and Councillor Spencer submitted their apologies for this meeting.