Environment Services carries out a range of regulatory services, often statutory, to protect public health and safety as well as the environment.
The Head of Environment authorises officers to carry out a range of duties that are necessary to ensure laws are being complied with. Our intervention may be as a result of a complaint or report from a witness, or will be planned in accordance with any guidance we have to follow, such as the inspection of a business handling food for compliance with hygiene regulations.
Officers have a range of powers; for example, they can take photographs, examine equipment, take documentary records and question staff. Their powers depend on the laws that are applicable to the circumstances and also the seriousness of the issue, such as the risks to health.
It is good practice to have a written policy setting out broad guidelines to assist officers in determining what sort of enforcement action is appropriate for each situation.
The enforcement policy, that covers a range of environmental health, pollution, street scene and licensing functions, also provides advice to businesses and individuals on what they can expect in the event of a breach of legislation or behaviour that justifies intervention by a public authority, such as nuisance.
As such, the policy aims to deliver consistency, transparency and proportionality, having regard to local conditions and council aspirations and priorities.
The policy covers a range of issues, including health and safety in the workplace, pollution of the environment, nuisance to neighbours and environmental crimes such as littering. Due to the diverse nature of these regulatory services and the differing powers available, there may be supporting operational protocols for specific issues to further ensure consistency and compliance with regulatory codes. So, if you have a query about a specific issue, please contact the relevant service area.
The enforcement policy is available to view and download in Adobe Reader. It was approved on 30 January 2012 by the Executive Member for the Environment.