Agenda and minutes

Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee
Thursday, 1 October 2015 11.00 am

Venue: Room 8, 2nd Floor, Judges Lodgings, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1US.

Contact: Andrew Baird  Email: andrew.baird@surreycc.gov.uk 020 8541 7609

Items
No. Item

11.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

12.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 1 APRIL 2015 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of Interest:

    None

     

    Witnesses:

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards

    Phil Dart, Service Director, Buckinghamshire County Council

    Yvonne Rees, Customer and Communities Strategic Director, Surrey County Council

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    In relation to Item 9, Enforcement Policy and Service Criteria – updated Framework,the Head of Trading Standards reported that the issue of whether the Care Act had any implications for carers in the submitted Equality Impact Assessment had been discussed with the Legal and Governance Manager. The advice given was that the Care Act introduced significant changes and helped demonstrate the importance of why carers need to be supported as well as vulnerable people. The Committee heard that Officer training on the Care Act would take place in all Service Areas this autumn and that protecting vulnerable residents and carers was high priority for Trading Standards.

     

     

    The minutes of the meeting held on the 1 April 2015, were agreed as a correct record, subsequent to the following minor amendment:

     

    The attendance was to be revised to include Helen Clack and Margaret Aston.

     

     

     

13.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

14.

PROCEDURAL ITEMS

15.

Members' Questions

16.

Public Questions

17.

Petitions

18.

THE NEW JOINT TRADING STANDARDS SERVICE UPDATE ON PROGRESS pdf icon PDF 189 KB

    The new Joint Trading Standards Service for Buckinghamshire and Surrey was launched on 1 April this year. The new service is able to provide a better service for residents and businesses in both counties whilst at the same time making efficiency savings and increasing income generation.

     

    This report summarises the progress made in the first six months of the new service. It invites the Joint Committee to note the progress made, and to identify any issues which they would want to explore in more detail at future meetings of the Joint Committee.

     

    The report also updates the Joint Committee on the range of national reviews currently underway looking at the future of the Trading Standards service and on how it contributes to both local government and central government priorities. It invites the Joint Committee to contribute to those reviews.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

    None

     

    Witnesses:

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards

    Phil Dart, Service Director, Buckinghamshire County Council

    Yvonne Rees, Customer and Communities Strategic Director, Surrey County Council

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.      TheHead of Trading Standardsintroducedthereport. Members were referred to the report which summarised the progress made during the first six months of the new joint Trading Standards Service. The report included an update on the background of the Joint Trading Standards Service and summarised progress against the key service priorities of Economic Prosperity, Improving Health and Wellbeing, Innovation, and Customer Focus/Resident Wellbeing. It also provided details of the range of national reviews currently underway looking at the future of the Trading Standards Service.

    2.      An Advisory Member referred to paragraph 5.6 of the report and asked for examples of what coverage had been generated and how this had been achieved. The Officer informed the Committee that during the initial phases of the Joint Trading Standards Service, one finding was that the two Communications teams (Surrey County Council and Buckinghamshire County Council) were both involved in producing separate press releases which often generated local coverage. The two communications teams were working well together and as a result Trading Standards messages and stories were reaching a much wider audience. The actions of the joint service were being covered in both local authorities and significant National and International coverage is also being generated. Both authorities have benefited from the increased publicity resulting from the Joint Trading Standards Service.

    3.      An Advisory Member explained that a monthly pamphlet used to be produced and sent to all parish councils in Buckinghamshire highlighting any Trading Standards issues and asked whether, as the pamphlet was no longer produced, there was a means of sending each parish clerk a monthly update. The Officer explained the Joint Trading Standards Service produced a weekly newsletter called TS Alert sent out to over two thousand email contacts including residents, businesses, community groups, charities, enforcement partners and local Councillors. It was agreed that the service would ensure that local Parish Councils in Buckinghamshire would be included in the circulation of TS Alert.

    4.      A Member of the Committee said that the Trading Standards update should be sent to all voluntary organisations and those connected with the vulnerable in the community. 

    5.      An Advisory Member asked how each Trading Standards service fed back information to the Health and Wellbeing Board for their respective council? The Officer explained that in Surrey County Council, there was good engagement with Helen Atkinson, the Director of Public Health and the wider Public Health team. Members heard that meetings also took place with David Pickering, Team Leader, Buckinghamshire to ensure that that there was a consistent approach across both authorities and that Martin Phillips was the Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

PERFORMANCE UPDATE pdf icon PDF 185 KB

    The Trading Standards Joint Management Committee is asked to note performance of the Service since its inception in April 2015 and to agree any corrective action that it feels is required.The information provided covers performance against the: 6 high level agreed indicators; delivery of the benefits anticipated in the Business Case; and in relation to the service budget.

     

    The information provided shows that:

     

    ·         Overall performance against the 6 high level indicators is on target.

    ·         All savings, income and efficiencies anticipated in the Business Case are on target to be delivered. There is more work required to deliver the expected service enhancement around volunteering.

    It is projected that the budget will breakeven at outturn, achieving all the savings projected in the business case for the shared service.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

    None

     

    Witnesses:

    Steve Ruddy,Head of TradingStandards

    Amanda Poole, AssistantHead of TradingStandards

    Phil Dart, Service Director, BuckinghamshireCounty Council

    Yvonne Rees,Customerand CommunitiesStrategicDirector,SurreyCounty Council

     

     

    Keypointsraised during the discussion:

    1.         The Assistant Head of Trading Standardsintroducedthereport which gave details of the performance of the Service since its inception in April 2015.  The information covered performance against the six high level agreed indicators, delivery of the benefits anticipated in the business case and in relation to the service budget. It was noted that:

    ·                    Paragraph 2 should read ‘In future years the high level PIs would be agreed by the Joint Committee at its spring meetings’;

    ·                 In Quarter 1 approximately £28,000 Proceeds of Crime (POCA) income had been received;

    ·                 The minimum income currently projected from PAPs in 15-16 was £100,000.   Latest information indicates that this is likely to rise to £140,000 before the end of the year.

     

    2.         A Member of the Committee asked about how the service ensured that criminals couldn’t hide assets, or claim that assets were worth less than their true value, to protect them from Proceeds of Crime action. The Officer advised that a valuation process was in place and that any revaluation went to the court for agreement. A Member of the Committee asked if there was a timeline for sale of assets. The Officer explained that there was a timeline for sale of assets but the timeline was about to change from 12 months from when the order was made to 6 months. The Committee was told that if assets were released and the defendant didn’t pay, a confiscation order could be made and the defendant could go to prison. The Officer confirmed that the defendant would be responsible for the debt for the rest of their life and there were some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING