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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 2 December 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To apprise members of the provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 and to enable delegation of authority to appropriate officers.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet notes the report.

2.         That the Director of Development Services and the Head of Public Protection authorise appropriate and competent staff to carry out duties in relation to the enforcement of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 and all regulations made there under.

3.         The cost for the food hygiene re-inspection charge be set at £150.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To inform members of the introduction and provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013.

2.         To enable the delegation of authority through Council.

3.         To set a fee for food hygiene re-inspections.

 

Background

2.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council has been partaking in the voluntary Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since 1st January 2011.

3.         The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a local authority/Food Standards Agency partnership initiative.  The scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in food premises at the time they were inspected by local authority food safety officers.  The food hygiene rating given reflects the inspection findings.

4.         The purpose of the scheme is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food thereby encouraging businesses to improve their hygiene standards.

5.         In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards.  These are 1) appeal procedures; 2) right to reply; 3) an opportunity to request a revisit when improvements have been made in order to be re-assessed for a new rating.

6.         Currently within the Vale of Glamorgan there are 909 businesses that have been inspected under the Voluntary scheme:

 

Rating

Number of Premises

5

265

4

296

3

180

2

61

1

97

0

10

 

(Information from Food Hygiene Rating Website www.food.gov.uk/ratings 30/10/2013)

 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         This Act and associated Regulations establish a mandatory Food Hygiene Rating Scheme for Wales.  The scheme provides for food authorities in Wales to inspect and produce food hygiene ratings for food business establishments in their areas.  It also introduces mandatory display of food hygiene ratings within these businesses, along with the charges for re-inspection.  Adding this Act to the Constitution will enable officers to fully carry out the duties imposed on local authority officers.

8.         When the mandatory Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 comes into force on the 28th November 2013, there will be a legal requirement for food businesses to display, at each entrance to their premises, their food hygiene rating.  Failure to display the rating notice will result in a fixed penalty notice.

9.         It is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of service requests from members of the public and an increase in the number of service requests from local businesses.  In addition there may also be an increase in the amount of requests for re-score inspections and Freedom of Information requests, for food hygiene reports in relation to local food businesses.

10.      The new implication will allow for an 18 month migration period from the voluntary to the mandatory scheme when the Act comes into force on 28th November 2013.  This is to allow a 'lead in' time to those businesses that would not be due for an inspection up to 18 months after the introduction of the Act and fee.

11.      The Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 was passed by the National Assembly for Wales on 22 January 2013 and received Royal Assent on 4 March 2013.  The Act comes into force on the 28th November 2013. As a result of the introduction of new legislation it is proposed that under the Council’s Constitution, the Director of Development Services and Head of Public Protection authorise relevant competent officers to undertake duties to enforce provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 and all regulations made there under.

12.      It is calculated that re-score applications will cost £150 to provide, and requesting a fee to this amount should cover the cost of the re-score. However, depending on the number of rescore applications received this may have an impact on the ability of the team to be able to carry out the high risk food hygiene inspection programme.  The work programme will be monitored and resources allocated to this function will be reviewed as appropriate.  During the year 2013 the department has currently received 49 requests for revisits inspections. If the £150 charge was applied it would have generated £14,100 in revenue.  Whilst this cost does not currently generate any profit, it should offset some of the costs of providing the service.  (The £150 charge has been agreed by all Environmental Health Departments in Wales and has been determined as a reasonable cost).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      It is envisaged that the £150 charge for rescore application should cover the cost on an average basis.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      None directly arising from this report and its recommendations, although the inspection regime is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of citizens of the Vale.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      In order to enforce the provisions of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 there is a need to authorise relevant competent officers. The Council's Constitution delegates authority to the Director of Development Services and Housing and Public Protection to make such authorisation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      None directly arising from this report and its recommendations.

 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      None directly arising from this report and its recommendations.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      Corporate Outcome 4:  To promote a fair and just trading environment for consumers and businesses.

19.      Service Objective 1:  To improve the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors by delivering a range of targeted and accessible services. 

Policy Framework and Budget

20.      This report is for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      No consultation undertaken with Ward Members as report will affect all wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Contact Officer: Leah Harris, Environmental Health Officer - Tel. 01446 709137

 

Officers Consulted

Principal Lawyer

Senior Accountancy Technician

Operational Manager Democratic Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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