Agenda and minutes

Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee
Wednesday, 2 March 2016 11.00 am

Venue: Room G44, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN

Contact: Andrew Baird or Rianna Hanford  020 8541 7609

Items
No. Item

1/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2/16

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 229 KB

3/16

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

4/16

PROCEDURAL ITEMS

5/16

Members' Questions

6/16

Public Questions

7/16

Petitions

8/16

PERFORMANCE AND JOINT SERVICE BUDGET pdf icon PDF 191 KB

    The Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee is asked to note the performance of the service since its inception in April 2015. The information provided covers performance against the six high level agreed indicators and in relation to the Service budget.

     

    The Joint Committee is also asked to agree the Performance Indicators about which it wishes to receive information in the year 2016/17 and to endorse the revised joint service budget, with addition of an extra marginal efficiency saving of 1.5% per year over and above the previously agreed efficiency savings for the Joint Service.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of Interest:

     

    None

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards,

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards,

    Yvonne Rees, Strategic Director for Customers and Communities Surrey County Council

    Phil Dart, Service Director, Localities and Community Safety

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Assistant Head of Trading Standards introduced the item and highlighted that the report recommended performance indicators for 2016/17 remain the same as they were in the previous year due to the fact that the process of establishing the Joint Service was still being finalised.

    2.    It was noted that both Primary Authority Partnerships (PAP) and Checkatrade Partnerships continued to develop well. A question was raised regarding whether work had been undertaken to link PAP schemes with the fire services; officers responded by stating that a formal partnership with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) already existed. A partnership had not been established with Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) but that an event was being planned in an effort to create a partnership with BFRS as well as with other relevant agencies such as Environmental Health.

    3.    Members were informed that the Service had established a relationship with Bridgend County Borough Council in Wales around providing advice to companies in Wales and was in the process of seeking out a partner authority in Scotland.

    4.    Officers were asked how the Joint Service was collaborating with district and borough Joint Enforcement Teams (JET). Members stated that a representative from Trading Standards sat on the JET Board and that the hope was to become more closely involved with JET in areas such as intelligence sharing. The Head of Trading Standards advised Members that it would not be possible to delegate Trading Standards officers to become part of the JET programme.

    5.    Officers indicated that the intention was for the Service to improve on its performance against targets from the previous year.  Members commented that the format of the KPIs in the report made it challenging to get an accurate picture of how Trading Standards was performing as it did not specify what the targets were that the Service was aiming for. The Committee requested that a report be brought to the next Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards Joint Board meeting which demonstrates the KPIs and the targets that the Service is aiming to achieve

    6.    Officers advised the Committee that private sector companies had started to move into the PAP arena and that at of these companies had secured an endorsement from the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI). Members requested that a report be brought to the next Joint Committee meeting outlining how the Services can effectively compete in the PAP sector with private companies.

    7.    The Committee agreed that a letter would be sent to volunteers who had worked with Trading Standards in Buckinghamshire and Surrey thanking them for their work with the Service.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Buckinghamshire and Surrey Joint Trading Standards Service:

     

    i.      noted the Service’s performance from 1 April 2015;

     

    ii.     agreed the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/16

9/16

PROCEEDS OF CRIME UPDATE pdf icon PDF 130 KB

    This report outlines the purpose of the Proceeds of Crime Act and how the Joint Trading Standards Service has successfully utilised the legislation and the associated asset recovery scheme.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of Interest:

     

    None.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards,

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards,

    Yvonne Rees, Strategic Director for Customers and Communities Surrey County Council

    Phil Dart, Service Director, Localities and Community Safety, Buckinghamshire County Council

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Head of Trading Standards introduced the report and informed the Committee that the intention was to use money gained through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to tackle local crime priorities in Surrey and Buckinghamshire. It was noted that,for next year £80,000 was likely to be available.  Members were asked for their perspective on where the £80,000 in funding would be most effectively used. Officers said that community safety teams in both Buckinghamshire and Surrey would be given the opportunity to outline where they felt POCA money would be most appropriately used to meet community safety and local crime priorities.

    2.    A discussion took place about the possibility of using money gained through POCA in order to tackle domestic abuse. The Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health at Buckinghamshire County Council stated that a pilot project had taken place in Buckinghamshire aimed at reducing instances of domestic abuse through intervention with perpetrators but that funding would be  withdrawn from this scheme as it had proven to be ineffective. The Cabinet Member stated that domestic abuse advocates were a highly effective means of reducing domestic abuse by supporting victims. He suggested putting a portion of POCA money into funding more domestic violence advocates across Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

    3.    The Committee further suggested putting some of the money gained through POCA to tackling problems related to drug and alcohol abuse. The Head of Trading Standards stated that this would meet the Home Office criteria for spending POCA money as it would reduce crime or the fear of crime. It was requested that Community Safety leads provide a report to the next meeting of the Trading Standards Joint Committee putting forward proposals for where POCA money can be used totackle local crime priorities..

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Trading Standards Joint Committee considered the options for using the additional assets that have been recovered under the scheme and agreed that these resources are targeted at issues identified in partnership with the local Community Safety teams tackling local crime priorities.

     

    Actions/further information to be provided:

     

    A report providing options on where to spend money gained through the Proceeds of Crime Act to be considered by the Buckinghamshire and Surrey Joint Trading Standards Service Committee to its meeting on 14 September 2016.

10/16

UPDATE ON THE NATIONAL REVIEWS OF TRADING STANDARDS SERVICE DELIVERY pdf icon PDF 112 KB

    This report updates the Joint Committee on the range of national reviews looking at the future of the Trading Standards Service across the UK and on how it contributes to both local government and central government priorities. In particular, it invites the Joint Committee to consider the outcome of the Local Government Association review in the context of the creation of Buckinghamshire and Surrey’s own joint service and to discuss how best to contribute to the further work that the LGA will be carrying out.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of Interest:

     

    None.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards,

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards, Yvonne Rees, Strategic Director for Customers and Communities Surrey County Council

    Phil Dart, Service Director, Localities and Community Safety, Buckinghamshire County Council

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Head of Trading Standards informed the Committee that the Joint Service had provided advice to Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils who were in the process of merging their Trading Standards services. The Committee stated that they were happy for the Joint Service to provide free advice to public sector organisations in regard to best practice for undertaking mergers but that remuneration should be sought from private sector organisations which request advice on mergers from the Service.

    2.    The Committee were told that the Service had been nominated for an Improvement and Efficiency Award, and that an update on the outcome of this nomination would be provided at the Joint Board meeting. Members congratulated officers on   achieving recognition for their work in successfully bringing Bucks and Surrey CC Trading Standards services together

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Buckinghamshire and Surrey Joint Trading Standards Service Committee:

     

    i.      note the outcomes from the Local Government Association (LGA) review of Trading Standards and;

     

    ii.     Request that officers continue to assist the work of the Local Government Association in helping to support and promote the benefits of larger more strategic Trading Standards services.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None

     

11/16

Date of Next Meeting

    The next Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee will be held at 11.00am on 14 September 2016.

    Minutes:

    The next Trading Standards Joint Committee will be held at 11.00am on 14 September 2014 at Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury.