Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions
Contact: James Welbourn Democratic and Civic Officer
Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.
Note: Before the first order of business, the Chairman sought, and gained agreement to vary the order of the agenda. Therefore, the item ‘Gainsborough Town Council – Public Space Protection orders’ was taken as item 5a, rather than item 5b.
There was one member of the public who made a statement related item 5a – public space protection orders. She raised the following points:
· Regular visits were made to the general cemetery. It had been noticed that people were exercising their dogs at the cemetery, and there had been dogs urinating on gravestones;
· This had been quite distressing; people could become abusive if approached;
· Elderly people that visit a grave were respectful;
· Some walkers have stated that the ‘can do what they like’. There was photographic evidence of this.
Declarations of Interest
Members may make declarations of Interest at this point or may make them at any point in the meeting
Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan declared an interest in item 5a as a founder member of the ‘Friends of Gainsborough Cemeteries. This did not prevent him from taking part or voting on the item.
Councillor Tim Davies declared an interest in item 5a as he was a Member of Gainsborough Town Council. He had not taken part in any discussions at the Town Council on this subject.
To approve the minutes of the Regulatory meeting held on 14 May 2018;
To acknowledge the notes from the Regulatory sub-committees held on:
18 May 2018;
11 October 2018;
28 January 2019;
11 April 2019.
The minutes of the annual meeting held on 14 May 2018 were approved as a correct record.
The notes from the Regulatory Panels held on 18 May 2018, 11 October 2018, 28 January 2019 and 11 April 2019 were noted.
The matters arising attached to the agenda pack were noted.
Public Reports for approval
The Housing and Enforcement Manager introduced a report on public space protection orders (PSPOs).
The following points were raised:
· PSPOs have been a power available to Members since 2016. They have a range of uses;
· They were currently in place for a number of scenarios, including dog fouling across the District, and the consumption of alcohol outside the Trinity Arts Centre. There was also a PSPO in place at Hemswell Cliff limiting the use of vehicles such as quad bikes;
· An item on the topic of PSPOs in Gainsborough had previously come to committee in 2017 but it had been felt that PSPOs in this area were not required;
· A consultation on this topic would last for six weeks, with a possible end result of a further report to Regulatory Committee asking for a final decision on the matter;
· Many of the sites listed in the report did not have any logged issues against them which would merit a PSPO;
· Officers were asking that consultation take place for the cemeteries in Gainsborough in relation to dog control. If during the consultation other issues arose, they would be reflected in the final PSPO proposal;
· Currently, Gainsborough Town Council (GTC) were looking for some restrictions around dogs, quad bikes and motorised vehicles;
· West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) does enforce PSPOs based on information from the public. Certain sites were patrolled; however due to staffing levels it was impossible to patrol large numbers of sites.
Note: Councillor Angela White arrived during this item.
Following this introduction, Members and officers provided further comment on the item:
· If a number of dog users went elsewhere then additional dog bins may be required in other locations;
· There had been a concentration of enforcement at Hemswell Cliff. Resources were stretched but the general cemetery could warrant this extra resource;
· The proposed approach of officers would be to spend time making sure orders were in place, supported by signage and maps;
· Educating people on where and how they walk dogs would be beneficial;
· GTC do not have the resource to train their own staff on site. However, it could be something that GTC assist with financially.
(1) Consult upon a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to cover the general cemetery and North Warren Cemetery within the next 3 months;
(2) Liaise with Gainsborough Town Council and the Police to review the evidence relating to the other sites proposed in order to determine whether any further PSPOs should be consulted upon. This should include liaison on any resource implications.
The Housing and Enforcement Manager introduced the Food and Health and Safety Work Plan for 2019/20.
The following points were highlighted:
· WLDC had responsibility for food safety and hygiene;
· Last year there had been an audit across food safety and environmental protection which received ‘limited assurance’. There had been a number of resource and staffing issues. The audit identified those issues and allowed actions to be put in place;
· In the summer of 2019 there would be a new member of staff available for food inspections;
· Through Progress and Delivery reports there had been additional information available on food safety performance;
Following questions from Members, further information was provided:
· There had been no random food sampling taking place. Sampling was where, following an inspection of premises, a random sample of food was taken and sent to a laboratory. When officers visit premises with poor standards it was hoped to make this common practice;
· Benchmarking of other authorities suggested that there had been an average of 56 samples over the course of a year collected by Local Authorities;
· The risk of not sampling was not high; however if this wasn’t standard practice there was a risk of professional standards not being maintained;
· The aim would be to increase the level of sampling at WLDC;
· An abortive inspection would be where, for example, an owner was away during a planned visit. It could also be where there was no access to premises;
· Food inspections were a statutory obligation for WLDC set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA set out the frequency of inspections; category A would be every 6 months, whereas a lower risk inspection could be every 36 months. No additional financial burden was received as a result of these inspections, however some parts of the service could be charged for.
A re-inspection would be subject to a fee. The first year where re-visits were charged for was 2018, and this produced around £3,000 in income. This year, £5,000 was scheduled for income; this did not cover the cost of food safety, but did help to offset some other costs.
RESOLVED to approve the Food and Health and Safety Work Plan 2019/20.