Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Scrutiny Team
Declaration of Interest
Minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2020 were accepted as a true an accurate record.
Law and Regulation
- Councillor Ray Truman - Cabinet Member for Law and Regulation
- Matthew Cridland - Regulatory Services Manager – Commercial Standards
- Rhys Thomas - Regulatory Services Manager – Environment and Community
The Cabinet Member gave apologies for the Head of Law and Regulation who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. The Chair and the committee gave their best wishes for a speedy recovery. An overview of the report to given to the committee, in which it was advised that work for the first six months have been occupied by Covid-19, as the Cabinet Member’s portfolio covers most of the Covid-19 work being undertaken. Around 19 staff have been taken away from their normal work and diverted to cover work for the Test, Trace and Protect regional service. But given the challenges that the service area have faced, there has been great achievements.
The Regulatory Services Manager advised the committee that a vast majority of the work in Trading Standards and Environmental Health has been related to Covid-19 enforcement, particularly around businesses and making sure that all the reasonable measures and social distancing requirements have been met. Surveillance work has been placed on hold however the more higher risk rogue trader work has continued and been managed to be maintained.
The committee were given some facts and figures from the work that had taken place. In the first half of the year, teams from Licensing and Trading Standards have provided advice on Covid-19 compliance on 1451 occasions, completed 1008 Covid-19 compliance inspections and carried out 1993 assessments of compliance. Assessments were also able to be completed remotely, which brought a 93% compliance rate. This was an excellent response rate, however the 7% does relate to non-compliance so enforcement had to take place in some areas. 26 premise improvement notices had been issued for previous failed Track and Tracing requirements. 3 premises have been closed as a result of covert enforcement work and 1 nightclub had their premises licence suspended for three months as they were operating as a nightclub during the lockdown.
There has been a lot partnership and multi-agency work completed with Gwent Police and other Council partners, including other departments in the Council .Colleagues in Environmental Health passed on problems that they had found in business premises, which allowed the Trading Standards team to visit those premises and carry out enforcement work and issue notices. Trading Standards had also worked on intervention investigates and media warnings on rogue traders. This has been quite a strain on the normal working of the local authority, so Welsh Government have given funding for five officers to support with enforcement and consumer protection work.
The Regulatory Services Manager for Environment and Economy gave an overview of his section. The committee were advised and given updates on some of the Amber and Red measures. -
Point 6 on page 25 – Local Air Quality Management - a manager has now been in post for six days ... view the full minutes text for item 4.