Environmental health

The environmental health section has two parts - the environmental protection team and the commercial team. 

Air pollution

  • Monitor air quality around the town. An Air Quality Status Report is produced each year for the government. 
  • Enforce smoke control areas. 
  • Hand out permits and regulate emissions to air from some premises. 
  • Investigate complaints such as smoke from open burning and bad smells. 

Contaminated land

  • The council has a database showing all sites in the borough where there has been an industrial use that might contaminate the land.
  • The team make sure development sites are suitable as part of the planning process.
  • Provide advice to developers, landowners and consultants.
  • Environmental searches.

Environmental advice

  • Providing advice to the public.
  • Respond to consultations from other parts of the council such as licensing and planning, and outside bodies such as the Environmental Agency.

Food safety

  • Inspection of all food premises to make sure they follow food hygiene rules and run the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
  • Ensuring businesses provide accurate information about food allergens to customers.
  • Providing advice to businesses. 
  • Investigating complaints about food and food premises.
  • Conducting food sampling surveys and responding to alerts issued by the Food Standards Agency. 
  • Investigate cases of suspected or confirmed food poisoning. 

Health and safety at work

  • Inspection of commercial premises for compliance with workplace safety. 
  • Investigation of accidents and complaints about workplace conditions.
  • Providing information and advice for businesses. 

Noise

  • Investigation of complaints, advice and monitoring.

Nuisance

  • The investigation and enforcement of nuisance laws under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • To be a legal nuisance there needs to be evidence of something being a nuisance or prejudicial to health (or likely to be).
  • There is no set definition of the term "nuisance" but it is something that causes serious interference in the use and enjoyment of a person's property. It is more than just an annoyance or something that is present.
  • The specific sensitivities of the person affected cannot be taken into account in deciding whether a matter is a statutory nuisance. 

Examples of a legal nuisance:

  • The state of a building
  • Smoke/fumes and gases coming from a building
  • Smell/dust/steam from industrial, trade or business premises 
  • Large amounts of waste building up. For example, large amounts of rubbish with food waste inside.
  • Animals kept in a building.
  • Insects from any industrial, trade or business premises 
  • Artificial light from premises 
  • Noise coming from a building or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in a street  

Pest control

  • Pest control treatments and investigation of complaints.

Private water supplies

  • Sampling of private water supplies. 

Smoking and smoking shelters 

  • Enforcement of "no smoking" laws.