Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 21st October, 2014
Time:
09.30am
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mick Stoker(Chairman), Cllr Tracey Stott(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Bill Woodhead
Officers:
Jo Heaney, Claire Spence(PH), Dave Kitching (Trading Standards & Licensing), Mike Chicken, John Angus, Barry Jackson, Rosemary Young, Isabel Nicholls, Stephanie Landles (DNS), Graham Birtle, Jenna McDonald(LD)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Terry Laing
Item Description Decision
Public
CSI
28/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
CSI
29/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
CSI
30/14
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 9TH JULY 2014
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CSI
31/14
DRAFT MINUTES - 16TH SEPTEMBER 2014
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
CSI
32/14
REVIEW OF STREET CAFE FURNITURE AND A-BOARDS
AGREED that the information was noted.
CSI
33/14
REVIEW OF LICENSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH
 
CSI
34/14
WORK PROGRAMME
 
CSI
35/14
CHAIR'S UPDATE
 

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CSI
28/14
The evacuation procedure was noted.
CSI
29/14
There were no declarations of interest.
CSI
30/14
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th July 2014 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CSI
31/14
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 16th September 2014.
CSI
32/14
The Built and Natural Environment Manager attended the meeting to provide the Committee with an Action Plan to consider for the Review of Street Cafe Furniture and A-Boards.

Key points were highlighted to Members:

- 5 recommendations as detailed on the action plan had been previously agreed

- Base line assessments were to be carried out on the numbers and positions of street cafe's in order to measure progress

- A simplified guidance document would be created to issue to local businesses. The guidance document would also be displayed online to advise businesses owners and other members of the public

- Monitoring was to be carried out by the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team in order to assess whether guidance was being adhered to

- A transition period had been recognised for those businesses buying the correct equipment in order to adhere to the guidance

- Enforcement procedures were a last resort while education and consultation was key

Members of the Committee raised the following points/questions:

- If traders were to comply, it would not only benefit the disabled but also make their local business look more appealing and vibrant
- Can a business appeal against any action which is taken as a result of not complying?
- Would it be possible to add photographs to the SBC website to monitor improvements?


Officers responded to points and questions raised by Members as follows:

- The uploading of photographs to the SBC website to monitor progress was considered a good suggestion and one which would be considered

Members and Officers were presented with points and questions on behalf of the Guide Dogs for the Blind and the RNIB Regional Officer for the North East as follows:

- Recommendation 4 - confirm that SBC DAG, RNIB and Guide Dogs are included in the review.
- If visually impaired people want to raise concerns following on from the implementing of the Guide Lines, who would they contact?
- Could RNIB / Guide Dogs have input in drafting the leaflet, so that it highlights mobility and raises the awareness of the needs of people who are blind or partially sighted?

Officers responded to the points and questions as followed:

- A contact would be provided within the guidance for those wanting to raise concerns following on from the implementation of the guide lines
- A draft flyer would be circulated for comments and suggestions, therefore the RNIB/ Guide Dogs could have input in drafting the leaflet in order to raise awareness of the needs of people who were blind or partially sighted
CSI
33/14
The Committee received information on Obesity, Hot Food Takeaways and planning.

Key points and emerging issues were highlighted together as follows:

- Controlling hot food takeaways had been an issue addressed through planning policy for a long period of time. Currently, they were directed to designated centres and controlled by assessment of their impact on amenity and whether they would result in an overconcentration of such uses in locality.

- Planning policy aimed at reducing young people's access to hot food takeaways in the Borough to tackle obesity was being developed. A number of examples of planning policy, guidance and case law relating to hot food takeaways in other Local Authorities were discussed.

- Robust evidence was required to support such a policy, however it was highlighted that there was no direct evidence available to demonstrate that when a hot food takeaway was located close to a school, it affected the weight of children attending

- Although hot food takeaways created employment and business opportunities, it was important that careful consideration was given to locating them in close proximity to schools, play areas and parks

- Research was concluded and has been incorporated into a Regeneration and Evvironment Local Plan. In addition to the tests of amenity and overconcentration, the revised policy introduced an exclusion zone. The policy stated that outside of designated centres, hot food takeaways located within 400m of a primary or secondary school, park or playground boundary would be resisted. An initial consultation on the policy had been held in September 2012 and, at that stage only one objection to the draft policy had been received. Members heard that until the policy was adopted it could not be taken into accoutn in making decisions on planning applications for takeaways. The policy would also have to pass scrutiny by a planning inspector when the plan/policies were examined as to whether they were in accordance with Government policies and were robust and sound.

- Individual schools' healthy eating policies could be used as material consideration to planning applications, however they could not be accorded great weight and unless the Government change the national guidance the key issue will always be how the site/use accords with the retail policy

- If conditions were to be applied to a planning permission, a direct link to development had to be demonstrated

- Each planning application was dealt with on an individual basis and depended on the nature of the local area considering cluster and proportion

- Members asked whether the planning department had any control over hygiene standards in the hot food takeaways and were informed that this was a topic which related to Environmental Health. It was highlighted that hygiene was monitored regularly and all hot food takeaway owners were recommended to display an on the door score at their takeaway although this was not a statutory requirement

- Members of the Committee agreed that corner shops also affected healthy lifestyles and sold nutritionally poor food such as sweetened carbonated drinks, crisps, chocolate and sweets etc

- It was asked whether it would be possible to gather evidence based on the food which children were taking into school with them

- The Committee was informed that the Licensing Department only had control over the sale of hot food. Members heard that sandwiches and drinks could be sold at any time from a hot food takeaway
CSI
34/14
No changes to the work programme were made
CSI
35/14
The Chair provided no update.

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