Agenda and draft minutes

Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall, Aylesbury, HP20 1UA

Contact: Emma O'Donnell 

Items
No. Item

11/18

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

    To receive any apologies for absence and substitutions.

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Mr Jason Russell, Executive Director, Highways, transport and Environment, Surrey County Council and Ms Gill Quinton, Executive Director, Communities, Health and Adult Social Care,  Buckinghamshire County Council.

     

12/18

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING 29 MARCH 2018 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

13/18

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

    Minutes:

    There were none.

14/18

PROCEDURAL ITEMS

15/18

Members' Questions

16/18

Public Questions

17/18

Petitions

18/18

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 46 KB

    To review and agree the Committee’s Forward Work Programme.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    There were none.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

     

    • The Head of Trading Standards explained that the performance and budget item on the forward work programme would be a standing item for every meeting.
    • The Joint Committee would be looking at Food and Tobacco plans once a year.
    • Members requested to have Brexit on the agenda for future meetings to understand the impact going forward.
    • Members raised a question on the future operation of Buckinghamshire County Council if the decision was made to become a Unitary Authority.

     

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Joint Committee NOTED the Forward Work Programme.

     

19/18

ACTION REVIEW pdf icon PDF 44 KB

20/18

PERFORMANCE AND JOINT SERVICE BUDGET pdf icon PDF 160 KB

    The Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Trading Standards Service Joint Committee is asked to note the performance of the service for financial year from April 2017 to March 2018, and quarter one of the current financial year from April 2018-June 2018. The information provided covers performance against the seven high level indicators agreed by this Joint Committee and in relation to the service budget.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    There were none.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Mr S Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Ms A Poole, Deputy Head of Trading Standards

     

    Ms A Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards presented the report.

    The Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Trading Standards Service Joint Committee had been asked to note the performance of the service for the financial year from April 2017 to March 2018, and Quarter 1 of the current financial year from April 2018 – June 2018.  The information provided covered performance against the seven high level indicators agreed by the Joint Committee and in relation to the service budget.

     

    The Chairman noted all the factors provided by Head of Trading Standards and enquired about the entire cost of the department and all the activities.

     

    Key Performance Indicators were discussed as followings:

     

    • Increasing the financial savings for residents as a result of interventions and investigations.
    • Protecting residents by stopping rogue traders operating in Buckinghamshire and Surrey.
    • Preventing residents becoming victims through expanding the use and reach of social media alerts, TS Alert! Volunteers and other preventative initiatives to raise awareness of scams, rogue traders and unsafe products.
    • Increasing the number of Primary Authority Partnerships.
    • Increasing membership of trader approval schemes.
    • Working with partners to tackle illegal sales of age restricted products; to explore new ways to reduce harm from the use and consumption of unsafe products; and to tackle poor food quality and nutrition scams (including activities related to this area carried out by volunteers).

     

    The Chairman stated that Trading Standards would need to ensure competitive prices in order to create more business.

    Mr Walsh stated that the prices set were low in comparison to the commercial world.

    Mr Ruddy confirmed that Trading Standards were charging moderately compared to other local authorities – the Service is at the top end, but is not at the top of what LA’s are currently charging. The Chairman appreciated that Trading Standards were doing an excellent job and were heading in the right direction.

     

    It was noted that the position of the UK after leaving the EU was still unclear. The Chairman asked for further regular updates to come back to the Committee.

     

    ACTION: Ms Poole & Mr Ruddy

     

     

     

    Key points from the discussion:

     

    • Overall the service was performing well across the range of indicators and delivered some excellent results against key performance indicators in 2017-18.
    • The Joint Service budget was underspending currently, and was anticipating a total underspend of £94,000 at the end of the current financial year (which

    equated to around 3% of the planned budget).

     

    The summary of budget position had been shown on page 49 of the report.

     

    Ms Poole stated that Trading Standards had an underspend of £94.000 for the joint service and it was being split proportionately. Trading Standards were trying to maintain that underspend as the year progressed.

     

    A member of the committee stated that it was not good to keep vacancies open to save money as this would not be good for the service.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/18

21/18

TRADING STANDARDS TOBACCO WORK pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    This report considers the Service’s work in relation to tobacco and associated products and is not restricted to the potential sale to children and young people.

     

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    There were none.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Mr S Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Ms A Poole, Deputy Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

     

    • The Children and Young Person’s (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991 required Local Authorities to consider, at least once in every period of twelve months, the extent to which it was appropriate to carry out enforcement action to ensure that the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, were effected.
    • This sought to prohibit the sale of cigarettes and associated items, such as nicotine delivery systems, to persons under the age of 18. The duty related to tobacco enforcement only. 
    • The Service undertook work in the area supporting the delivery of the Public Health improvement outcomes and responsibilities that related to the use of tobacco in order to help people to live healthy lifestyles; make healthy choices and reduce health inequalities.
    • The report considered the Service’s work in relation to tobacco and associated products and was not restricted to the potential sale to children and young people.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Joint Committee noted the Tobacco Report.

     

22/18

POTENTIAL IMPACT ON TRADING STANDARDS WORK OF THE UK LEAVING THE EU pdf icon PDF 155 KB

    This report summarises the issues and challenges facing Trading Standards as the key local government regulator charged with enforcing consumer protection legislation post Brexit. The report is based on the outcomes of the work of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Brexit Thinktank.

     

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    There were none.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Mr S Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Ms A Poole, Deputy Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

     

    The majority of legislation dealt with by Trading Standards is based on EU law. Despite the commitment to simply transfer this into UK law there were many references and links to EU bodies and it had not been clarified which bodies in the UK would take over these roles. For instance the EU wide product safety alert (RAPEX) system would potentially be no longer available to the UK but it was not clear what steps would be taken to deal with the issue.

     

    This brief report summarised the issues and challenges facing Trading Standards as the key local government regulator charged with enforcing consumer protection legislation both pre and post Brexit. The report was based on the outcomes of the work of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Brexit Think Tank.

     

    Trading standards had contributed to the national work and would be preparing for a variety of different scenarios coming out of Brexit.

     

    The Chairman and the Committee Members commended Trading Standards for their work. The Committee requested that the officers present thanked the whole team for their commitment to deliver the Service.

     

23/18

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

    The next meeting of the Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee will be held on 28 March 2019.

    Minutes:

    The next meeting of the Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee would be held on 28 March 2019, at 11.30am in Committee Room C, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.