The Portfolio Holder – Streetscene and Environmental Health joined the meeting for this item.
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer presented a report to Committee titled ‘Review of Enforcement action undertaken by Bolsover District Council to improve the quality of the environment across the District – Post Scrutiny Monitoring (Final Report)’.
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer explained how the Committee hadreviewed the Council’s enforcement action and put together 19 recommendations which aimed to look at potential service improvements. She added how this report acknowledged progress to date by officers in implementing the recommendations.
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer reported that to date, all 19 recommendations had been achieved. However, there were issues relating to two of the recommendations:
· One recommendation (HSCGC17/18 1.6) aimed to ensure an improvement in performance levels for street cleanliness. While this had happened over the 12 month period, one of the indicators (SS03) was still not performing within the required target. Members could continue to monitor this, either through an extension to the recommendation or via the new performance framework currently being developed
· One recommendation (HSCGC17/18 1.10) aimed to continue regular use of CCTV and monitor the introduction of body worn video cameras. This work had experienced some delays to delivery and Members could extend the monitoring period to understand the outputs achieved via the new body worn video cameras
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer explained that recommendation HSCGC17/18 1.10 had been delayed because legal advice given to officers stated that the relevant policies and staff training should be in place before use of the equipment commenced.
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer also provided an update to recommendation HSCGC17/18 1.5, to establish if there was sufficient evidence to establish a Bolsover Districtwide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog fouling. She informed Members that public consultation on a draft Dog Management PSPO had ended, and the responses were now being considered by Legal Services and Environmental Health.
In relation to some of the issues regarding Environmental Health, the Environmental Enforcement Team Leader presented Members with a presentation on the Environmental Enforcement work undertaken by the Joint Environmental Health Service.
The presentation informed Members of:
· Duties of enforcement team
· Service requests
· Achievements 2018/19
· Business waste duty of care
· Fly-tipping hotspots
· Use of deployable cameras
· Body cameras
· Abandoned vehicles
· Nuisance parking
· Initiatives and education
· Littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling trends
· Contact centre and reporting improvements
· Public feedback on Twitter
· Intouch magazine
· Going forward
The Environmental Enforcement Team Leader explained how a deployable camera had been left in a notorious fly-tipping spot in Shirebrook, and it caught someone fly-tipping there. He added that the body cameras will be beneficial because people are less likely to commit an offence when they’re being filmed.
The Portfolio Holder – Streetscene and Environmental Health clarified the earlier discussion about dog fouling PSPOs by updating Members on recent progress. She explained that after advice from Legal Services, they were working on the potential signage to be used once the PSPO was implemented.
The Chair enquired what the staff numbers were like in the Environmental Health service. The Environmental Health Manager replied that key staff had been lost across the service, and Building Resilience funding had been considered as a possibility to maintain the service. He added that it was particularly difficult to find food related Environmental Health officers, because they were required to have specific qualifications and experience.
A Member reported complaints in their ward about areas immediately outside licensed premises that were accumulating cigarette butts.The Environmental Enforcement Team Leader explained that the team instructed every licensed premise to keep their surrounding areas clear, and also deployed an officer to patrol areas where cigarette littering was most likely. He added that if Members ensured they logged issues with customer services, then the team could investigate further.
The Scrutiny & Elections Officer invited Members to decide on their resolved recommendations in light of her report. Members considered extensions to the monitoring periods for the two recommendations in the end of review report (HSCGC17/18 1.06 and HSCGC17/18 1.10), but on the evidence presented, felt that it was only pertinent to monitor 1.10. Members unanimously agreed to approve the recommendations of the current report, but with the recommendations about 1.06 and 1.10 amended to reflect their discussions.
The Joint Head of Streetscene noted that the team had been nominated for a national Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards for Refuse collection and Street cleansing. The team had been shortlisted in the ‘Best performers’ and ‘Most improved performers’ categories.
The Chair thanked the Environmental Enforcement Team Leader for his presentation and the whole Environmental Enforcement Team for their hard work. At this point, the Portfolio Holder – Streetscene and Environmental Health, the Joint Head of Streetscene, the Improvement Officer, the Environmental Health Enforcement Team Leader and the Environmental Health Manager left the meeting.
Moved and seconded
RESOLVEDthat (1)Members note the progress against the review recommendations,
(2)Members acknowledge any exceptions to delivery and clarify the additional action required by the service,
(3) Members consider extensions to the monitoring periods for recommendations HSCGC17/18 1.06 and HSCGC17/18 1.10 in the end of review report, but on the evidence presented, feel it is only pertinent to continue to monitor 1.10,
(4)Members make its findings public, in accordance with Part 4.5.17(3) of the Constitution.
(Scrutiny & Elections Officer/Environmental Health Manager)