Agenda item

A Strengthened Approach to Enforcement

-           Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adult Services to report.


Councillor McNeely, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adult Services, which identified a change in the way in which the Council delivered services in order to maximise the resources available to undertake environmental enforcement activity and improve on the standards of service that were currently being delivered to address other local quality of life issues. 


The approach complemented the introduction of a South Yorkshire Police Accredited Powers Scheme for specified uniformed Council Officers and a reciprocal arrangement for the authorisation of Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers to enforce Council powers with respect of littering and dog fouling.


A scoping exercise has been carried out in those areas where members of the public require support from Council interventions to help improve their living and neighbourhood standards.  It was found that, in the main, enforcement activity will primarily still be held in specific services where the activity is embedded into a job role.  It was also found that, in some teams, which had been trained as described above, over time the activity had stopped due to either post holder changes or a re-focusing of their job role during Council re-structuring.


The need to expand the enforcement capacity identified a number of positive reasons to introduce change including:-


§    Giving customers a better deal from speedier and seamless responses.

§    Providing greater efficiency to address the reduction of capacity within services.

§    Giving more focus on early interventions as more of the workforce identify and address issues at the point of occurrence.


Functions which were currently assigned to specific services, but which could be assigned and better integrated into other areas of the Council, included enforcement and legal proceedings relating to:-


§    Littering and dog fouling.

§    Filthy & verminous premises.

§    Rubbish and waste in gardens.

§    Smoke-free premises and vehicles.

§    On road vehicle repairs and sale.

§    Abandoned shopping trolleys.

§    Anti Social Behaviour (ABCs/ASBO).

§    Underage alcohol sales operations.

§    Duty of care for waste management on commercial premises.


In order to ensure that the proposed changes were thoroughly worked through and implemented in a successful manner it was proposed to phase the implementation of the changes with initially the changes in authorisation/use of extended powers being introduced in Neighbourhoods and Adult Services where there was the greater activity of both enforcement and tenancy management.  Uniformed officers of Streetpride would also initially be included in the phased introduction.


Consultation with officers and their Trade Unions across the services impacted by these changes had been undertaken and an overall positive response has been received albeit with some localised concerns which have been addressed.  This feedback was in-line with the desire to improve processes and working to bring quicker response and resolution to the problems that residents faced.  In addition Trade Unions and staff consultation had been undertaken to assess the need for job profile changes and any impact on the pay and grading of staff potentially affected by the proposals.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the widening of the enforcement capability, as detailed in the report, be approved.


(2)  That the authorisation of the identified additional groups of officers for the legislative duties, associated guidance and enforcement procedures, as specified in Appendix 2, be approved.


(3)  That with respect to the other legislative provisions identified in the report, appropriate training and development programmes be developed to allow for identified officers to be provided with “expert witness” status in the investigation and provision of evidence.

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