Agenda and minutes

Environment Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Thursday, 14th January, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Contact: Wendy Gough 01708 432441  Email:

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2nd September 2015  and authorise the Chairman to sign them.



The minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 2 September 2015 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.




The Sub-Committee will receive an overview of the implementation and enforcement of resident parking schemes in the borough.



Following a request from the Sub-Committee an overview of the implementation and enforcement of residential parking scheme in the borough was given.


Officers explained that requests for parking schemes could be received from residents, members or businesses.  This could be due to commuter parking or another issue.  The area is assessed and a series of consultations are carried out.  This would include presenting to the Highways Advisory Committee.  A full consultation with the residents and businesses is then carried out before the scheme is implemented.  Once the scheme goes live this is enforced over the first month and publicity of the scheme is carried out.


It was noted that there was often displacement following the implementation of a new parking scheme, therefore the team had to become proactive in enforcement.


The Enforcement CEO’s acted as a deterrent, however it was important that residents had the first choice and convenience was maintained.  The Enforcement team was made up of 22 CEO’s, however it was growing with the priorities in the borough.  The biggest issue was around schools, ensuring that residents had priority and the commuter parking.  Most of these were considered to be poor parking behaviours.  The Enforcement Team operated 7 days a week up until 10:00pm.


Members felt that often it took a long while for schemes to be implemented.  Officers explained that there had been a number of key officers that had left the organisation, however there had been an active recruitment drive which brought the service back to full capacity.


It was noted that there were a number of areas that contributed to parking schemes, these included the schools expansion programme which included 8-9 schools who had project plans and would mean major schemes needed to be consulted upon.  The service would need to mitigate any resident’s challenges whilst ensuring that the school children were kept safe.  It was possible that other schools may also expand in the future.  The enforcement around schools had been only one officer; this had recently been increased to two however it was impossible to be at every school.  There was a schedule for the enforcement of schools, however this was constantly changing and they were looking to adopt other options and powers to deal with the issue.


Officers explained that they would look to work with Head teachers, the local community and Ward Councillors about how school zones could be improved.  They were looking to mitigate the problem and were trying to discourage short carjourneys, so there was an exclusion zone around the school, which would mean more safety for the children.


Members asked how the schemes were prioritised.  Officers explained that if there was a scheme needed to prevent danger, this was prioritised; otherwise all schemes would be dealt with as they were received.  Each scheme was assessed for safety issues and displacement and the effect this would have on residents in the area.


Discussions were had about residential parking zones and how these could lead to isolation for an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.



Following a request from the Sub-Committee, officers will give a presentation on how the food hygiene rating scheme operates in Havering and how it can be accessed by consumers.



The Sub-Committee received a presentation from the Interim Food Safety Divisional Manager.  This gave an overview of the work of the Food Safety Division, an overview and the purpose of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme as well as the benefits to the local people, visitors and businesses.


It was noted that the number of food businesses operating in Havering had increased from 1586 in 2011 to 1892 in 2015.  Each of these businesses had to be inspected on a regular basis according to food safety risk.


Officers explained that the Food Safety Division work consisted of:


·         Food Hygiene Inspections

·         Food Standards Inspections

·         Investigation of complaints from members of the public

·         Sampling for analysis

·         Investigation of notifiable infectious diseases and or food poisoning

·         Education, advice, coaching, information and intelligence gathering

·         Feed Hygiene/ Standards Interventions.


The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme was a partnership between the local authority and the Food Standards Agency initiative for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This was to help consumers to choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in food premises (found at the time they were inspected).  This would in turn drive improvements in hygiene standards. 


Officers explained how the rating worked.  The scheme was simple for consumers to understand with a rating of “0” being the worst and “5” being the best.  Simple words were used with each rating.  Ratings of 3, 4 and 5 were considered acceptable and the premises were “Broadly Compliant”.  Where ratings of 0, 1 and 2 were given there would be follow-up enforcement activity carried out.  The frequency of follow-up inspections was dependant on the risk identified at the initial inspection.  All visits were unannounced other than for establishments run from private homes.


Once an inspection has been carried out a rating was agreed and given to that business.  The business was issued with a sticker which gave the rating on the front with details of the inspection on the rear.  The stickers were encouraged to be displayed at the business, however this was not mandatory.  Each business was obliged to inform the Council within 28 days that they would be operating a food business.  The onus was on the operator to inform the Council and all business would be aware of this.  If businesses were not compliant then support would be given to ensure that forms are completed so that ratings can be assigned.  Where there was non-compliance the team could prosecute the business.  The Sub-Committee noted that there were 200 unrated businesses as of January 2016.


Each premise with a food hygiene rating was sent to the Food Standards Agency so that it could be published.  This was so that any person could check the ratings at A free mobile app, was available, which provided the same information.  Information on the local authority, the address of the business, the postcode or the name of the business could be searched on.  From this the consumer could see the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.



The Sub-Committee will receive details of performance indicators within its remit for Quarters 1 & 2 of 2015.


Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report of the Performance Indicators within its remit for Quarters 1 and 2 of 2015.  It noted that each indicator was given a red, amber or green (RAG) rating.  Of the eight indicators, six were rated green, 1 was rated amber and 1 was rated red.


The indicator which was rated red was “Number of fly tipping incidents”.  Officers explained that this was an area which was very difficult to enforce however the Council was continuing to use CCTV to attempt to identify offenders and would prosecute if an identity could be made. 


The Sub-Committee noted that the current levels of performance needed to be interpreted in the context of increasing demands on services across the Council.  It was noted that future performance reporting arrangements would change so that from April 2016, Cabinet had agreed that the quarterly and annual Corporate Performance Reports would be considered first by the individual Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committees, then the Overview and Scrutiny Board and finally the Cabinet.





The Sub-Committee are asked to agree and approve the scoping document for the Waste Minimisation Topic Group.


Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee discussed and noted the report of the Waste Minimisation Topic Group.  Officers explained that this would now be presented to Cabinet at its March meeting.




Officers will provide an overview of the Ingrebourne Hill Public Enquiry.


The Chairman informed the Sub-Committee that information had been provided on this item by officers outside of the meeting.  The member concerned was content for the item to be withdrawn from the agenda.





Committee Members are invited to indicate to the Chairman, items within this Committee’s terms of reference they would like to see discussed at a future meeting.  Note: it is not considered appropriate for issues relating to individuals to be discussed under this provision.



The Sub-Committee suggested the following areas for discussion at future meetings:


·         Improving the safety of schools through robust enforcement.

·         Vermin/ Pest Control.