Agenda and draft minutes

Tyne and Wear Trading Standards Joint Committee
Thursday, 27th June, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Whickham Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Sonia Stewart 

Items
No. Item

TW1

Appointment of Chair

The Committee is requested to appoint a Chair for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED –           That Councillor K Dodds be appointed Chair of the                                          Joint Committee for the 2019/20 municipal year.

TW2

Appointment of Vice-Chair

The Committee is requested to appoint a Vice-Chair for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED –           That Councillor J Fletcher be appointed Vice Chair of the                               Joint Committee for the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

TW3

Constitution of the Committee

The Committee is asked to note the Constitution of the Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

 

Authority

Member

Substitute

 

 

 

Gateshead Council

Councillor K Dodds

Councillor D Bradford

 

Councillor M Foy

Councillor S Hawkins

 

Councillor T Graham

Councillor J McElroy

 

Councillor I Patterson

 

 

 

 

North Tyneside Council

Councillor S Graham

Councillor J Hunter

 

Councillor C Burdis

Councillor J O’Shea

 

Councillor C Johnson

Councillor P Oliver

 

Councillor J Stirling

Councillor L Bell

 

 

 

South Tyneside Council

Councillor S Dean

Councillor J Amar

 

Councillor T A Dixon

Councillor A Kerr

 

Councillor A Donaldson

 

 

Councillor J Perry

 

 

 

 

Newcastle City Council

Councillor N Kemp

Councillor A Lower

 

Councillor L Wright

 

 

Councillor M Lowson

 

 

Councillor P Lovatt

 

 

 

 

Sunderland City Council

Councillor A Wilson

Councillor P Gibson

 

Councillor D Waller

Councillor J Heron

 

Councillor J Blackburn

Councillor A Lawson

 

Councillor J Fletcher

Councillor D MacKnight

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED -            That the constitution of the Joint Committee for the                                          2019/20 municipal year be noted.

TW4

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from:

 

Councillor M Foy - Gateshead Council

Councillor S Graham - North Tyneside

Councillor C Johnson - North Tyneside

Councillor J Stirling - North Tyneside

Councillor T Dixon - South Tyneisde

 

TW5

Minutes pdf icon PDF 118 KB

The Joint Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED -            That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 February                                       2018 be agreed as a correct record, subject to the                                         inclusion of Councillor N Kemp (Newcastle City Council)                            in the attendance list and Councillor J Fletcher’s                                               constituent council being amended to read Sunderland                                   City Council.

 

TW6

Report and Statistical Return for the Period January to June 2019 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update report on the work of the Metrology Laboratory for the period January to June 2019.

 

RESOLVED -            That the information be noted.

 

TW7

Provisional Outturn as at 31 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received the provisional outturn for 2018/19, subject to the audit of Gateshead Council’s Accounts.

 

RESOLVED -            That the details contained in the provisional outturn report                              for 2018/19 be noted.

TW8

Metrology & Product Safety Business Plan pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report of the Service Director, Communities and Environment

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update on the initial proposals for the future business plan of the Metrology Laboratory and its use.

 

The Joint Committee was advised that there had been limited progress with taking forward any of the proposals, mainly due to essential building maintenance work needing to be carried out.

 

An officer meeting was scheduled to cost out some of the proposals but the preferred options may now need to be put on hold.

 

Members were concerned at the lack of progress on the business plan and considered that greater detail was required on the scale of opportunity, return on investment and delivery of an economic business case. It was agreed that these issues needed to be addressed for presentation to the next meeting of the Joint Committee.

 

RESOLVED -            That a further report be presented to the Joint Committee                               at its next meeting addressing the issues set out above.

 

 

TW9

Offensive Weapons Act 2019 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Report of the Service Director, Communties and Environment

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update on recent legislative changes which affect the sale of knives and corrosive substances.

 

The Offensive Weapons Act received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019 bringing in tough new measures that strengthen law enforcement’s response to violent crime. The Act will make it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in private and will make it a criminal offence to dispatch bladed products sold online without verifying the buyer is over 18.

 

RESOLVED -            That the information be noted.

TW10

Scams Awareness Campaign 2019 & Citizens Advice Scams Action Project pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Report of the Service Director, Communities and Environment

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update on the delivery of the Scams Awareness Campaign in undertaken in June 2019.

 

Scams Awareness is a yearly campaign which aims to create a network of

confident, alert consumers who know what to do when they see a scam. This

year's campaign took place over two weeks in June and came with a slogan, “Stop, report, tell”.

 

The first week looked at the group who have been identified as having the

highest detriment from scams (older people), whilst the second week focussed on those who are now targeted by scams in volume (life established ie 40s to 60s).

 

Across the region all local authority trading standards services engaged with

local partners to deliver on the Scams Awareness Campaign.

 

RESOLVED -            That the information be noted.

TW11

Tenant Fees Act 2019 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Service Director, Communities and Environment

Minutes:

The Joint Committee received an update on the new role of trading standards services under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 which came into force on 1 June 2019.

 

Under the new Act the only payments that landlords can charge in connection with a tenancy are:

 

·         the rent;

·         a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent

            where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where           the total annual rent is £50,000 or above;

·         a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more

            than one week’s rent;

·         payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher;

·         payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when

            requested by the tenant;

·         payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and

·         a default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost

            key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement.

 

If the fee that a landlord is charging is not on this list, it is a prohibited payment and should not be charged for. A prohibited payment is a payment outlawed under the ban.

 

A breach of the legislation will usually be a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000, but if a further breach is committed within 5 years of the imposition of a financial penalty or conviction for a previous breach this will be a criminal offence. The penalty for the criminal offence, which is a banning order offence under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, is an unlimited fine.

 

Where an offence is committed, local authorities may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution. In such a case, local

authorities will have discretion whether to prosecute or impose a financial

penalty. Where a financial penalty is imposed this does not amount to a criminal conviction.

 

A breach of the requirement to repay the holding deposit is a civil offence and

will be subject to a financial penalty of up to £5,000.

 

RESOLVED -            That the information be noted.