Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre
Contact: Meryl Lawrence Scrutiny Adviser
Declaration of Interests
Law and Regulation
b) City Services
Law and Regulation
- Cllr Ray Truman (Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulation)
- Gareth Price (Head of Law and Regulation)
The Cabinet Member presented a brief overview to the Committee highlighting key areas for consideration. Members were advised that the last 4 months had been busy for the department. The Community Safety Wardens were spending more daylight hours in the city centre and wards, as their working hours had changed 3 months ago to work 1pm – 10pm, which gave more time to spend in the area. From 7th October to 6th November 2019, 77 fixed penalty notices had been issued for dog fouling, littering, dogs not being on leads and begging at cash points.
Trading Standards had been successful in prosecutions and closures of shops regarding the sale of illegal tobacco as well as counterfeit and dangerous goods sold online. This had been achieved with reduced resources and less staff. The Stray Dog Service had received two national RSPCA gold awards. The service was run by staff and volunteers and received funding from Partners. The Cabinet Member advised that Newport was the only authority in Wales that received gold awards, which was attributed to the staff in the Team.
Members asked the following:
· A Member queried Action 3.3 on page 21: “Registration Service – Review Discretionary Fees & Charges for the Registration Service”, for which the RAG Status was Green while it was only 10% complete, but had been running from 1st April 2018 and would end on 31st March 2019. The Head of Service advised the Committee that this was a misprint, it should read 100%, but added that there were a number of objectives that did not lend themselves to percentage type reporting.
· A Member queried Action 4 on page 26: “Maximise Use of Idox Web Forms – Environment and Community”, for which the RAG status was Red and the commentary stated that the action had been delayed due to significant vacancies in the Environmental Health Housing Team. The Head of Service advised that there were significant vacancies across the board, but this Action had not been selected for the high-level business plan and did not affect anyone’s day job. Trading Standards had been short staffed and the Action had not been a priority. He added that this was the issue with turnover of staff especially in smaller teams. The service area was sustaining a good level of performance with diminishing resources and when staff do leave, it would reflect on performance. He clarified that the service area did not have a recruitment problem, it was a retention of staff issue.
· A Member enquired about progress upon the rolling out of card payment for customers. The Head of Service advised that some progress was being made.
· A Member referred to Objective 1, Action 2.2 for which the commentary ran from pages 18 to 20 ran was confusing and had unexplained abbreviations which made it difficult to read. The Head of ... view the full minutes text for item 2.