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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting -   21st September 2011

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Legal and Public Protection

 

Food Law Enforcement Plan 2011/12

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To obtain Cabinet approval for the Council's Food Law Enforcement Service Plan 2011/12.

Recommendations

1.             THAT the Food Law Enforcement Service Plan at Appendix 1 be approved.  

2.             THAT the Cabinet Member for Legal & Public Protection in consultation with the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services be given delegated authority to approve future Food Law Enforcement Plans.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure the Council is meeting its statutory obligations in respect of food safety and food standards.

2.             To speed up the decision making process in relation to the approval of Food Law Enforcement Plans.

Background

2.             The Food Standards Agency requires the Council, under the Framework Agreement on Local Authority Food Law Enforcement, to produce a plan for its food law enforcement work.  Food Law Enforcement Plans are required to be submitted to the relevant member forum or Head of Service for approval to ensure local transparency and accountability.

3.             The Food Law Enforcement Plan sets out in detail the demands on the service and the resources allocated to the function.  It also provides performance information and highlights service priorities.    

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The Food Law Enforcement Plan covers all aspects of food safety, food standards and animal feed enforcement work and facilitates comparisons of performance between local authorities.  The plans provide the basis on which all local authorities are monitored and audited by the FSA.   

5.             If the FSA are not satisfied with services being delivered by local authorities they have powers to transfer the relevant responsibilities to another authority.  This would have serious consequences as any cost incurred by the authority receiving the function will be recoverable from this Council.     

6.             Local authorities now have the flexibility to decide locally whether or not Food Law Enforcement Service Plans should be approved by Elected Members or a senior officer.  In order to speed up the decision making process it is proposed that in future the Cabinet Member for Legal and Public Protection be given delegated authority to approve the Plan in consultation with the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services.   

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

7.             The resources required to meet the requirements of the Framework Agreement together with the shortfall are detailed in the Plan.  In view of the current shortfall in resources, a risk based approach to food safety enforcement will continue to be adopted by the Council with additional resources being targeted at those premises and activities posing the highest risk to public health.  Additional resources will be prioritised from existing departmental resources.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             The Council has statutory duties in respect of food safety and infectious disease control.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.             None directly arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.        None directly arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11.        The Food Safety Enforcement Plan 2011/12 will contribute to the Corporate Objective of Health, Social Care and Wellbeing  - ' To work with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all.’  It will also contribute toward the following service objective:-

·               To improve the health of citizens and encourage healthy lifestyles

Policy Framework and Budget

12.        This report is consistent with the Council’s Policy Framework and Budget and is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13.        This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Kate Thompson, Principal Regulatory Services Tel. 01446 709356

 

Officers Consulted

Alun Billinghurst, Head of Public Protection

Rob Ingram, Principal Accountant

Richard Price, Lawyer

Christina Roberts Kinsey, Trading Standards

 

Responsible Officer:

P H Evans, Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services

 

 

 

 

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