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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting -30th November 2011

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Legal and Public Protection

Update on the impact of charges on control of rodents to the outside of domestic premises

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To report on the impact of charges for rodent control outside domestics.

Recommendations

1.             That the impact of introducing the charge for rodent control outside domestic premises is noted and the matter is referred to the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To consider the impact of the charges for rodent control.

 

Background

2.             This report has been prepared in accordance with the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny recommendation Minute No. 603.

3.             On 30th September 2009, the Cabinet agreed charges to be introduced for identified pest control services.  From the 1st January 2010 these charges were introduced, which included the treatment of rodents outside domestic premises and it was also agreed that further reports be presented to consider the impact of the charges.

4.             On 13th April 2011 the Cabinet agreed to amended fees for pest control services which included the treatment of rodents at domestic premises.  The fees were amended in-line with inflation and to more accurately reflect the cost of providing the service.  Treatment to rodents within domestic property remained free.  The treatment of rodents outside domestic properties also remained free where the head of the household was on a qualifying benefit.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             During the first 2 quarters of the financial year 2011/12 there has been a 10% reduction in the total number of requests received by the Pest Control service compared to the same period in the financial year 2010/11.

6.             With regard to the number of service requests received for the treatment of rats during the first 2 quarters of the financial year, the reduction between the financial years is greater.  This financial year has seen on average 33% reduction in the demand to control rats in domestic premises.  The table below shows this reduction across all services offered in the control of rats including services that are free at point of use.

 

Number of Service Requests received

1st April to 30th September

Free Rat Survey - (service introduced when charge applied to treatment of rats outside)

Treatment of rats outside

Free Treatment of rats Inside

2009

1

605

153

2010

227

197

180

2011

153 (-33%)

122 (-38%)

134 (-26%)

 

7.             Analysis of the percentage of clients who pay for the control rats outside domestic premises indicates only a small reduction in numbers when compared to the same period last year.  During the first 2 quarters of this financial year 64% of clients requested this service compared to 68% during the same period last year. 

8.             In 2010 the positive impact of charging for the service was noticeable in the reduction of our waiting times and an increase in client work. During the first 2 Quarters of this financial year 85.7% of clients received their first visit within 5 days of their request compared to 83.8% during the same period last year.

9.             Investment in Mobile Working and dynamic scheduling Solutions are currently being investigated.  If implemented, the response times should continue to improve next year.

10.        The increase in capacity has enabled the pest control service to undertake chargeable proactive work.  This has been realised this year through the completion of a sewer baiting contract with Welsh Water.  It is anticipated this contract will be renewed for a further 12 months enabling additional income to support the service.

11.        The Pest Control Service is beginning to enter into discussion with other Service Area's within the Council to negotiate a Service Level Agreement (SLAs) for services currently being carried out by Private Contractors.  Successful negotiations of the SLAs will not only supplement the Pest Control income but provide savings to revenue budgets of other Service Areas.

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

12.        During the first 6 months of the financial year 2011/12, the pest control service generated £23,537.  Of this £1661.00 was generated from the control of rats to the outside of domestic premises.  The income from the control of rats is lower then last year, despite an increase in the fee, due to the lower demand seen for the service.  However, income across the Pest Control Service is only 3% lower over the same period last year. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        Whilst the Council has a statutory responsibility to control pests under the Prevention of Pest Act 1949 and the Public Health Act 1936, it does not have a statutory responsibility to provide a free pest control treatment service.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.        None arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        None arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        The pest control service links in to the corporate object - To ensure that all children and young people have a safe home and community which supports their physical and emotional wellbeing.

17.        Providing pest control treatment is the most effect way to Council can control pests that pose a significant public health risk.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        This report is consistent with the Council's Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Elen Probert, Principal Housing and Pollution Officer

Officers Consulted

Mike Bumford - Finance

Responsible Officer:

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