Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: To be held as an online virtual meeting
Contact: Abby Shinhmar, Governance Officer Tel: 0208 937 2078 Email: Abby.Shinmar@brent.gov.uk
Election of Chair
RESOLVED:That Councillor Anjana Patel(London Boroughof Harrow)be electedas Chair for themeeting.
Declarations of interests
Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant personal or disclosable pecuniary interests in the items on this agenda.
Nodeclarations of interestwere madeat themeeting.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 12 October 2022.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2022 be approved and signedas a correct record.
Deputations (if any)
No requests fordeputations hadbeen submittedfor themeeting.
This report provides Members with information concerning the proposed 2023/24 work plan for Brent & Harrow Trading Standards.
The Boardreceived areport, presentedby Samuel Abdullahi (Team Leader RegulatoryService , Brent Council), outlining the Work Plan for 2023/2024.
The report provided Members with information concerning the proposed 2023/2024 work plan for Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.
The Service carried out the local authorities’ statutory duties relating to the legislation enforced by a Weights and Measures Authority as well as other delegated legislation. This gave the Service responsibility of enforcement and legal powers under hundreds of Acts of Parliament or statutory instruments.
In accordance with the consortium agreement, there was a requirement for the London Borough of Brent to estimate the number and type of activities that will be undertaken by the Service during the financial year and to present them to the Joint Advisory Board.
A copy of the proposed work plan for the year 2023/24 was attached as an Appendix to the report.
The following issues were then raised by members of the Board in response to thereport:
§ It would be imperative to consider what the trends were in each borough;
§ Whether priorities for dealing with various illegal practices were identical for each borough, for example, the most complained about businesses; and
§ Which particular crimes were dealt with by the Service.
In response, Officers advised as follows:
§ Currently reports were condensed but could be separated to show data for each borough, and this could be included as a supplemental report in future;
§ Priorities for tackling illicit trading were reviewed on a yearly basis, and the severity was categorised low to medium to high risk; and
§ Door-step crimes and rogue traders continued to feature prominently. Some of these were dealt with by law enforcement and others were based on terms and conditions for the various products or services.
Having consideredthe report,the BoardRESOLVEDtonote and endorse the Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Work Plan for 2023/2024.
This report provides Members with information concerning the proposed level of fees and charges to be made by the Brent & Harrow Trading Standards Service during 2023/24.
The Boardreceived areport presentedby Simon Legg (Head of Regulatory Service, Brent Council) which detailed the proposed level of fees and charges to be made by the Service during the 2023/2024 financial year.
In accordance with paragraph 13(f) of the Consortium Agreement between the London Borough of Brent and the London Borough of Harrow, the Joint Advisory Board “should consider and make recommendations on the level of fees and charges to be made to the public in respect of any part of the service, for consideration by whoever is authorised to make fees and charges decisions by each respective council’s constitution.”
According to Brent Council’s Fees and Charges policy, the Strategic Director had delegated powers, in conjunction with the Chief Executive, to vary fees in certain circumstances. This was without the need to bring reports before Cabinet or other decision making bodies. When appropriate circumstances provided, the Service shall utilise the policy to maximise income opportunities.
Brent was the host authority for the Consortium. Therefore, the fee structure and charges were applied at the same level to each borough.
Trading Standards fees fell into the following categories:
1) Statutory fees (set by legislation, although some offered discretion to
vary the amount up to a maximum value);
2) Retail Price Index (RPI) linked fees (agreed previously by Brent’s Executive); and
3) Discretionary fees (there was discretion to vary the value charged).
Statutory fees were set nationwide by the Government. Generally, local authorities had no discretion to change the fees. Although on occasions, the legislation would permit a fee to be set locally up to a maximum value. Due to the fluctuating, and high inflation rates, fees had increased by 7.5%, rather than the RPI. It is predicted that inflation will come down during this year.
§ Who the service users were, and whether the revenue from fees and charges was deposited separately between the two boroughs;
§ Whether the fees were charged on time spent by staff in dealing with cases;
§ If premises selling fire-works had increased or decreased;
§ Whether there were any under-age sales of fire-works reported; and
§ Whether the financial investigative fee also applied to the London Borough of Harrow, and if this had changed in the recent past. How was the Service’s Proceeds of Crime/Financial Investigation work being paid for, particularly in relation to Harrow?
In response, Officers advised as follows:
§ Some service-users were retailers, as well as a mix of other businesses within the two boroughs and outside. There was a clear split of fees collected, and deposited, between Harrow and Brent and these were separately budgeted for between each borough team ;
§ Fees and charges were calculated at an hourly rate of staff time;
§ The number of premises selling fire-works was usually about the same from year to year. Some had annual licenses, whilst others could have 5 year licences. About ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Dates of future meetings
Members are asked to note the provisional dates identified for meetings during the 2023-24 Municipal Year.
(Please note: These dates are subject to final confirmation by each respective authority as part of the approval of their 2023/23 calendar of meetings), so may be subject to further change:
Wednesday 14 June 2023 at 6:00pm to be hosted by London Borough of Brent
Wednesday 1 November 2023 at 6:00pm to be hosted by the London Borough of Harrow.
Wednesday 20 March 2024 at 6:00pm to be hosted by the London Borough of Brent.
Members are asked to note the provisional dates identified for meetings during the 2023-2024 Municipal Year.
(Please note: These dates are subject to final confirmation by each respective authority as part of the approval of their 2023/24 calendar of meetings, so may be subject to further change):
a. Wednesday 14 June 2023 at 6:00pm to be hosted by London Borough of Brent;
b. Wednesday 1 November 2023 at 6:00pm to be hosted by the London Borough of Harrow; and
c. Wednesday 20 March 2024 at 6:00pm to be hosted by the London
Borough of Brent.
Any other urgent business
Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services (London Borough of Brent) or her representative before the meeting in accordance with the constitutions of both councils.
Therewere noother matteror urgentbusiness.