Agenda and draft minutes

Buckinghamshire Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee - Wednesday, 22 September 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Oculus, Gateway Offices, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8FF

Contact: Angela Guest 

Items
No. Item

15/21

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    To receive any apologies for absence and substitutions.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

     

16/21

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING [24 March 2021] pdf icon PDF 223 KB

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    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

    Minutes:

    The Minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

     

17/21

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:

    Councillor Lewis declared a personal interest as a Member of the Impact Food Group which had been involved in the development of Natasha’s Law.

     

18/21

Members' Questions

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    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12pm four working days before the meeting (16/09/2021).

    Minutes:

    There were none.

19/21

Public Questions

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    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (15/09/2021).

    Minutes:

    There were none.

20/21

Petitions

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    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting and none have been received.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

21/21

ACTION TRACKER pdf icon PDF 99 KB

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    The Committee is asked to monitor responses, actions and outcomes against actions and recommendations from previous meetings.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Joint Committee noted the Action Tracker. There were no outstanding actions to be considered.

     

22/21

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 99 KB

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    The Committee is asked to review and agree the Forward Work Programme.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Actions:

     

    Item to be included at the next meeting reviewing upcoming legislation that would impact the responsibilities of the service.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    Members agreed the forward work programme.

     

    Members were encouraged to contact Steve Ruddy or Amanda Poole if they had any other suggested additions to the forward work programme between the conclusion of the meeting and the next meeting.

     

23/21

PERFORMANCE AND JOINT SERVICE BUDGET pdf icon PDF 166 KB

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    The Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Trading Standards Service Joint Committee is asked to note the performance of the service for quarter 1 of 2021-22 (April to June) (Annex A).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Amanda Poole, Assistant Head of Trading Standards, Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

     

    1.    The Officers introduced the report and the following key points were noted on service performance:

    ·         The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had continued to disrupt general service performance into Q1 of 2021/22.

    ·         Pandemic-related disruption to the courts had severely impacted conviction rates. Members were informed that no convictions had been made in Q1 due to hearing dates being postponed and delayed as late as 2023.

    ·         Savings for residents in Q1 (£54,359) were down from last year, due in large part to a reduction in the number of Proceeds of Crime Act compensation orders issued as a result of court disruption.

    ·         A pilot scheme utilising doorbell cameras to pre-emptively combat rogue traders had seen a positive impact, both in the reported wellbeing of residents and a reduction in financial losses on the doorstep. It was hoped that further funding from National Trading Standards could be secured to expand the scheme.

    ·         Work continued to respond to complaints made against second-hand car dealers and to combat the supply of illicit tobacco.

    ·         The National Trading Standards Impact of Scams Interventions Calculator had estimated £431,651 had been saved for residents in avoided health and social care costs during Q1 as a direct result of the work surrounding scams intervention by the service.

    ·         The Office of Product Safety and Standards had continued to work closely with Trading Standards in signposting prospective partnership businesses toward the service. The number of Primary Authority partnerships had increased to 131 in Q1.

    ·         Services such as ‘Eat Out Eat Well’, ‘Traders4U’ and the partnership with ‘TrustMark’ continued. It had been agreed with Surrey Public Health that funding would be provided for a part time officer to expand Eat Out Eat Well in the Surrey area.

    ·         8,642 unsafe or non-compliant goods had been prevented from entering the country in Q1. This was a lower total than last year, though this was due to the unprecedented levels of unsafe PPE that had been seized at the beginning of the pandemic in what were unusual circumstances.

    ·         £1,797 worth of illicit alcohol and tobacco had been seized from properties with the help of trained detection dogs. It was confirmed that HMRC would pay for the use of these dogs for the ensuing year.

    ·         As the disruption from the pandemic eased, work could resume on market surveillance projects. Members’ attention was drawn to the case study in the report involving non-compliant safety shoes that had been sold to people undertaking dangerous construction work.

     

    2.    A Member asked if the lost income caused by the reduced numbers of Proceeds of Crime Act compensation orders would be recovered as pandemic-related disruption eased. Officers informed Members that this would be the case for some of the lost income, however, due to a reduction in the numbers of crimes (particularly doorstep scams) during the initial lockdown, there were fewer cases in the backlog from which the totality of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/21

24/21

TRADING STANDARDS ENFORCEMENT POLICY pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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    The Trading Standards Joint Committee is asked to review and endorse an updated Enforcement Policy for use by the Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards Service.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witness:

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

    1.    Officers introduced the report and the following key points were noted:

    ·         The enforcement policy had been updated to include the capacity of the service to issue fixed penalty notices to offenders. This update had been made in anticipation of future legislative change permitting local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for moving traffic offences.

    ·         There had been changes to various titles and acronyms within the enforcement policy to ensure they remained up to date.

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the amended Enforcement Policy be endorsed.

     

25/21

TRADING STANDARDS SCHEME OF DELEGATIONS pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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    Surrey County Council and Buckinghamshire County Council established a Joint Committee in 2015 to take responsibility for executive Trading Standards functions of both authorities. It is necessary to ensure that powers exercised by officers are properly delegated to them.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witness:

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

     

    Key points from the discussion:

    Officers introduced the report and the following key points were noted:

    • The Scheme of Delegations had been updated to remove references to ‘Buckinghamshire County Council’, which had since become part of the new ‘Buckinghamshire Council’

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Scheme of Delegation be approved.

     

26/21

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

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    The next meeting of the Buckinghamshire County Council and Surry County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee will be held on 24 March 2022.

    Minutes:

    The date of the next meeting was Thursday 24 March 2022 and would be hosted by Surrey County Council.