Agenda item

Ruth Austen - Environmental Health Services


RA - I’m here to give you an oversite of what my team covers and what we deal with in summary. I’m the manager of environmental health and licencing team here in NBC. In licencing we deal everything from taxi, retail etc., the list is long. Our team works with the Police, DVLA, and Trading Standards etc. around licencing issues. Another part of my team is the food safety department. We have over 200 shops registered for food hygiene in the town. Inspections occur depending on the type of property, this can be anything from 3 months to 2 years. This team also deals with food disease and infections. We work with the business to help then ensure that they are keeping under the set legislation standards.

Another part of my team is the Environmental Engagement Team. We deal with public requests/complains around noise, smoke, smells/air quality. We also work with other partners to help improve the air quality in Northampton etc. The team also deals with contaminated land. My team works closely with the Neighbourhood Wardens team, should there be any enforcement needed around these issues. The council also is responsible for dealing with stray dogs. We have contractor to collect and home dogs in kennels until the owner comes to collect them. We work with the traveller unit to help reduce issues of traveller encampment on NBC pubic land. Going back to noise complaints, we deal with noise complaints from neighbours and commercial properties. All these complaints and inspection requests have a set procedure to run through. We ask people to create a diary around the issues they are suffering from. This helps us with the build-up of evidence for when our officer go to do inspections.

We work under various pieces of legislation which helps up with the enforcement around the range of issues we deal with. Our enforcement ranges from warning notices and FPN’s to full prosecutions.

We have 20 people who work in my team and all the above is the briefest way I can sum up what we do. Any questions?

AT - have you got any information that can be shared/leaflets?

RA - I will give some to JW to share

BN - With all your multi-tasking can you sort out Brexit! On a seriously note, what’s the process if the neighbour has a noisy dog persistently barking?

RA - The EVN officer will be in touch to get further information before sending out a diary sheet to help build evidence. The next steps all depend on the situation and will be explained by the offer as work progresses.


NS - Do you do anything around pest control?

RA - We don’t have anything specific in our teams, but we have contacts with other agencies to help with these issues.

BO - when you touched up on the keeping of a diary, for noise etc. time factor, how long should they be kept for?

RA - 2 to 3 weeks or a set number of incidents. Depending on the problem.

BO - at that stage though it’s their word against yours?

RA - True, but this information’s helps our officer when it comes to recorded monitoring. Recorded monitoring can be done by the officer or through recorded equipment.


BO - Can you confirm, when it comes to barking from a dog, it’s only when it’s perpetual barking, and it can be reported?

RA - Yes, if it is consistent, that when it can be an issue.

RA -Thank you for having me