Minutes Licensing & Enforcement Sub Committee ‣ 20 April 2016 Council ‣ 20 April 2016 Housing Review Board vacancy EDDC’s tenants and leaseholders are being given the opportunity to stand for election to the Housing Review Board, the committee that oversees the Council’s landlord functions: ‣ Find out more ‣ City uses vinegar to kill weeds Bristol City Council has started using vinegar as a weedkiller substitute. Residents have complained it is smelly and less effective on the larger, more established weeds. Gillian Douglas, Council Interim Service Director for Clean and Green, said: “This trial of glyphosatefree weed treatments is still in its early stages, having been implemented in response to widespread public concern about the use of glyphosate as a weedkiller. We are sorry to hear some residents are concerned and we will monitor feedback throughout the trial.” ‣ Fly-tipping epidemic A feature piece looks at the rise of fly-tipping across Britain, with reported incidents increasing by 27% over the past two years to 900,000 cases in 2014/15. It says the rising trend may be due to councils imposing new restrictions on household refuse, including less frequent collections, charges for the disposal of certain items and the closure of household waste centres, although it acknowledges that the increase in cases could be due to greater reporting of the issue. Councils are using covert CCTV to catch fly-tippers. Not only does flytipping create an eyesore for residents, it is also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin. <strong>The</strong>re are a number of additional changes that would help tackle littering and fly-tipping, including sharing more of the responsibility with product producers. This includes manufacturers providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.” EDDC news ‣ Read the latest news ‣ Bluebell Celebrations at Holyford Woods on 1 May Photo: Peter Vernon ‣ East Devon Conservation volunteers set to mark their third year of service ‣ £400 instant fines in war on fly-tippers Fly-tippers will face on-the-spot fines of up to £400 from next month. <strong>The</strong> new fixed penalty notice for small-scale offences give councils more power to crack down on illegal rubbish dumpers. Until now their only option has been to haul suspects through the courts often at significant cost. <strong>The</strong> LGA has backed the change from May 9. Councils had to deal with 900,000 incidents in 2014/15, up nearly 60,000 from the previous year. LGA Environment spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “At a time when councils face difficult choices about services in the light of reducing budgets, they are having to spend a vast amount each year on tackling litter and fly-tipping. This is money that would be better spent on vital front line services. <strong>The</strong> Government has responded to our call for councils to be able to apply Fixed Penalty Notices for small scale fly-tipping – and this is a big step in the right direction.” ‣ Charity chuggers fined £165,000 for breaking rules thousands of times Charity fundraisers have been fined more than £165,000 in the past three years for repeated breaches of their own rules. Fundraising firms and charities were caught committing 3,300 offences while seeking on-street donations. It is thought the scale of the fines will further alarm critics of the fundraising sector, who complain that “chuggers” – short for charity muggers – harass the public. <strong>The</strong> figures were revealed by the Public Fundraising Association, which negotiates with local councils and fundraisers to regulate face-to-face fundraising.
‣ Help our hedgehogs! ‣ Council calls out to landlords for accommodation for Syrian refugees ‣ Seasonal controls for dogs on beaches comes into force on 1 May ‣ Parishes Together panel approves community scheme applications ‣ Forage for food with the Countryside team ‣ Trinity Hill welcomes back Exmoor ponies ‣ Restaurants advised to give families tap water Restaurants should offer free tap water to families eating out rather than waiting for customers to ask for it, say councils. <strong>The</strong>y say this would offer a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Councils, which have responsibility for public health, want restaurants to do their bit to tackle childhood obesity. All licensed premises have to provide free tap water in England, Wales and Scotland - but not Northern Ireland. Yet one in five people are not aware of the rules, says the LGA. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, LGA Community Wellbeing spokeswoman, said: “We want restaurant owners to play their part in tackling childhood obesity by offering families tap water. While most restaurants will happily provide a glass of tap water on request, we’re saying it shouldn’t be something you have to ask for. Some people may be too embarrassed or find it awkward to ask for tap water. Others may simply forget it’s an option. Water brings important health benefits and keeps people hydrated. For children it’s an alternative to a sugary drink, while for adults it might dissuade them from ordering another alcoholic drink.” Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, was interviewed on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio Five Live. ‣ Call for FOBT stakes to be lowered Councils have called for the Government to reduce the maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals which can see players lose hundreds of pounds per minute. <strong>The</strong> LGA wants the £100 maximum stake to be reduced and bought into line with other gaming machines on the high street, where the top stake is £2. <strong>The</strong> Association has also called for licensing laws to be updated to allow councils to take health issues associated with problem gambling and anti-social behaviour concerns into account when considering applications from betting shops. ‣ Study says more than 1m people destitute More than a million people in Britain were so poor that they could not afford to eat properly, keep clean or stay warm, according to a new study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It found that in a typical week last year, 184,500 households experienced a level of poverty that left them reliant on charities for essentials. ‣ Go wild in East Devon as part of Naturally Healthy Month ‣ THG Takeover at Exmouth Festival ‣ Birthday beacon on Sidmouth seafront makes a blazing tribute to Britain’s reigning monarch ‣ More clean air zones needed, say MPs "Clean air zones" targeting drivers of high-polluting vehicles should be extended to more cities in England, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has said. MPs said more cities should get the enhanced powers being granted to London, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton. <strong>The</strong> powers allow cities to charge high-polluting vehicles to discourage them from entering the city centre. Its report said emissions had been declining significantly but there were up to 50,000 early deaths each year in the UK because of cardiac, respiratory and other diseases linked to air pollution. <strong>The</strong> LGA said clean air zones “are not the answer to tackling air pollution” on their own. It insisted councils need a range of powers and devolved funding to combat the issue.