Es­sen­tial ser­vice that doesn’t only tackle fly-tip­ping

Carmarthen Journal - - News - RICHARD YOULE 01792 545553 [email protected]­di­

IF you thought a coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­men­tal de­part­ment just dealt with a few fly-tip­ping in­ci­dents and the odd noise com­plaint, think again.

A re­port by Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion ser­vice has re­vealed the scope of its ac­tiv­i­ties and de­mands upon its of­fi­cers.

The ser­vice deals with food hy­giene and stan­dards, pol­lu­tion, pest con­trol ad­vice, all sorts of nui­sances, anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease and stray dogs.

A lot of work is planned, but of­fi­cers must also be able to re­spond to ma­jor food in­ci­dents, food poi­son­ing out­breaks and events like the fly plague which struck Llanelli this sum­mer – as well as re­spond­ing to noise complaints dur­ing unso­cia­ble hours.

There were 1,965 reg­is­tered food busi­nesses and premises in Car­marthen­shire, as of April this year, com­pris­ing ev­ery­thing from take­aways to ho­tels, schools to care homes, and su­per­mar­kets to pro­duc­ers.

The in­spec­tion rou­tine for th­ese premises is dic­tated by their risk assess­ment cat­e­gory.

Dur­ing the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year 950 in­spec­tions are planned, along with an es­ti­mated 78 re­vis­its

In­spec­tions re­sult in a rat­ing from zero, mean­ing ur­gent im­prove­ment re­quired, to five, mean­ing hy­giene stan­dards are very good.

Coun­cil chiefs are keen to ex­pand a paid-for food hy­giene ser­vice which pro­vides tai­lored ad­vice for busi­nesses.

Of­fi­cers also carry out shell­fish and wa­ter sam­pling at com­mer­cial fish­ing beds, and will do ex­tra mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal test­ing of lo­cal food man­u­fac­tur­ers, pro­duc­ers and re­tail­ers this fi­nan­cial year.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion ser­vice, which has a £1.5 mil­lion bud­get, also has a duty to en­sure that milk from farms af­fected by com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease – pri­mar­ily bovine tu­ber­cu­lo­sis – is pas­teurised.

Of­fi­cers must also man­age around 70 in­dus­trial pro­cesses, rang­ing from petrol sta­tions to ce­ment batch­ing to pet food man­u­fac­ture.

Workplace ac­ci­dents, which to­talled 83 in Car­marthen­shire last year, have to be re­ported to the de­part­ment or the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive.

The ser­vice also li­aises with Dyfed-Powys Po­lice to regis­ter and li­cence scrap col­lec­tors and scrap yard op­er­a­tors.

Noise is­sues, mean­while, take up a lot of en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vice of­fi­cer time.

Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion ser­vice deals with fly-tip­ping and

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