Agenda Item No. 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 18th May 2016
Report of the Director of Environment and Housing
Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan
Purpose of the Report
- To seek approval for the Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan for the Shared Regulatory Service for 2016/17.
- Approve the 2016/17 Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan.
- Authorise the Head of the Shared Regulatory Service to make administrative amendments to the 2016 /17 Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan should the need arise.
Reason for the Recommendations
- 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.
- The Shared Regulatory Service, covering the areas of 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.
- The Councils have a duty, which has been delegated to the Joint Committee, to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.
- 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.
- A copy of the draft Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan for 2016/17 has been attached to this report as Appendix 1.
- The Service Plan details the aims and objectives of the service in respect of Health and Safety enforcement, which are determined annually. The plan details:
- the demands on the service,
- the risk based work programme and
- the resources available to deliver the required work.
- The plan explains the Health and Safety Executives expectations of Local Authorities, some of the achievements in 2015/16, and the challenges for the year ahead.
Relevant Issues and Options
- 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.
- 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.
- Previously the Welsh Government had only one performance indicator pertinent to Local Authority delivered Health and Safety functions :
- 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.
- 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 Appendix 1).
Challenges for 2016/17
- 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.
- 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 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)
- 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
- There are no immediate sustainability or climate change implications associated with this report
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- 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
- There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
- There are no anticipated equal opportunities implications associated with this report. Through the monitoring and review the Shared Service will ensure that its enforcement activity reflects this position and is in keeping with the Equality Statements and Policies of the participant authorities.
- The key service and improvement objectives contained in the Health and Safety enforcement service plan identify and links to the SRS Business Plan and the Corporate Plans of each Council.
Policy Framework and Budget
- The adopted Scrutiny regime will engage in the review and developments of plans, policies and strategies that support the corporate objectives of each Council.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
- The SRS is currently scrutinised through the arrangements in pace at each partner Council.
Christina Hill, Operational Manager Commercial Services, Shared Regulatory Services
Head of Service, Bridgend County Borough Council
Assistant Director, City of Cardiff Council
Director of Environment and Housing services, Vale of Glamorgan
Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing