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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 3rd November 2015

 

Report of the Head of Shared Regulatory Services

 

Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plans

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek approval for the Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plans for the Shared Regulatory Service for 2015/16.

Recommendations

  1. Approve the 2015/16 Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plans
  2. Authorise the Head of the Shared Regulatory Service to make administrative amendments to the 2015 /16 Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plans should the need arise.

Reason for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure the Shared Regulatory Service has robust arrangements in place to deliver its obligations as an enforcing authority under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and comply with statutory guidance.

Background

  1. The Shared Regulatory Service (including Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan) together with the Health and Safety Executive is responsible for the enforcement of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
  2. The Councils have a duty, which has been delegated to the Joint Committee, to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974.
  3. Section 18 of the Health and Safety at Work Act requires Local Authorities to produce a Health and Safety Service Plan setting out the arrangements in place to discharge these duties. This Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan is produced in response to that requirement and is designed to inform residents, the business community of Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of the arrangements the Councils have in place to regulate health and safety.
  1. A copy of the draft Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plans for 2015/16 for the partner Councils have been attached to this report as Appendices 1, 2 and 3.
  2. The Service Plans details the aims and objectives of the authority in respect of Health and Safety enforcement which are determined annually and are contained in the Service Plan for Public Protection.
  3. The plan details the demands on the service, the risk based work programme and the resources available to deliver the required work. As with many other Council services the service faces increasing demands with reducing resource.
  4. The plans explain the Health and Safety Executives expectations of Local Authorities, some of the achievements in 2014/15, and the challenges for the year ahead.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Local authorities have a duty to produce a Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan that is endorsed by elected members and makes clear their arrangements for contributing to current Health and Safety Commission priorities.
  2. The Plan needs to take account of local needs while addressing national priorities as set out by the Health and Safety Commission in its Strategic Plan. The Plan must identify both reactive and proactive work and include details of planned promotional and educational activities.
  3. Previously the Welsh Government had only one performance indicator pertinent to the delivery of the Council's Health and Safety service :-

The percentage of high risk businesses that was liable to a programmed inspection or alternative inspection activity that was inspected/subject to alternative enforcement activity for Health and Safety.

  1. This performance indicator no longer exists, however results are still monitored internally and HSE require each Local Authority to complete a return known as the LAE1 which outlines the work activities undertaken in the previous year (see Appendices 1 to 3).
  2. Challenges for 2015/16
  • Events - The region hosts many outdoor events across a wide range of venues. The time spent planning, organising, monitoring events and inspecting and sampling at food premises during events each year should not be underestimated. These are additional commitments above the planned inspection programme, often not experienced by other Councils in Wales.
  • Collaboration - Since the 1st May 2015 the Councils have been delivering its Regulatory Services through a collaborative arrangement involving Cardiff, Bridgend and the Vale. The shared service is now being delivered under a single management structure and hosted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. There will be considerable change in-year to move to the proposed new operating model. Whilst delivering business as usual will be an important priority, the process will be characterised by significant change to structures, branding, working practices, procedures and methods.
  • Financial - The continuing financial difficulties faced by all local authorities has required implementation of remedial measures to offset budgetary deficits. This has had an impact on the delivery of food services in recent years. This pressure will continue in the year to come. However, the new collaborative model does provide a budgetary framework to work within for the next 3 years. This allows a greater level of certainty for the service, than would otherwise be possible.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. A summary of the resources available across the Regulatory Service for dealing with Health and safety is detailed in the attached plans. Approval of this Health and Safety Enforcement Plan does not directly result in any additional financial implications.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Council has a statutory duty to provide a Health & Safety Enforcement service. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 section 18(4) all local authorities have a legal duty to make adequate arrangements for the enforcement of statutory provisions and any other duty imposed upon them under the guidance of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC). The guidance issued, commonly known as 'section 18 guidance', is mandatory.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Yes

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. None

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

None

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. tbd

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Christina Roberts, Operational Manager Commercial Services, Shared Regulatory Services

Officers Consulted

Head of Service, Bridgend County Borough Council

Assistant Director, City of Cardiff Council

Director of Environment and Housing Services

Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Responsible Officer:

Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services

 

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