North Warwickshire Borough Council

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Enforcement - Environmental Health

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The Council provides many and varied services and carries out a range of functions which involve aspects of enforcement. This is one of the principle functions of any government service, to serve and protect by the application of laws [in addition to other advisory roles]. District Councils such as North Warwickshire enforce laws relating to, amongst others, tax collection and benefit distribution, Planning and Building Control, Licensing and Environmental Health.

The Councils motto is 'Govern Yet Obey', and it takes seriously the impacts its actions can have on those it serves. Accordingly, it recently joined a voluntary code containing principles of good enforcement by adopting the Government's Enforcement Concordat.

The principles of the Enforcement Concordat to which North Warwickshire Borough Council agrees and will work towards are; Standards We will consult with relevant groups and individuals in drawing up clear standards setting out the level of service and performance we aim to provide.

These standards will be published and made available freely, together with our annual performance against them. Openness Advice and information on the rules we apply will be given in plain language and made widely available. We will explain how we set about our work and what we charge, having first consulted widely.

We will discuss general or specific compliance failures and problems with those affected. Complaints The Council has an effective and timely complaints procedure available to all, and it will be well publicised. Where complaints cannot be resolved, rights of appeal or further complaint will be explained and facilitated with details of the process and timescale. Proportionality We will minimise compliance costs by only asking or requiring things which are proportionate to risk. Where possible we will have regard to special circumstances and the attitude of the subject. Special care will be exercised in respect of small and medium sized businesses to avoid unnecessary expense or hardship.

Consistency We will be fair, equitable and consistent in carrying out our duties. Arrangements will be reviewed and strengthened where necessary to assure and promote consistency, including links with other authorities and enforcement bodies. Relevant Divisions of the Council undertaking such enforcement services may develop additional detailed technical policies in respect of meeting the principles of the enforcement concordat and this corporate enforcement policy, but enforcement activities conducted by the Council should meet this standard. Each additional detailed 'technical' policy will comply with the above principles.

The Council, as a Best Value Authority, will incorporate this policy into its performance reviews and as a corporate performance indicator. As an Investor in People it will ensure the training and development of its staff so that the policy is understood and achieved. As a caring Council it will listen to the views of its residents, businesses and others in promoting fair and appropriate enforcement to encourage economic growth and prosperity and the enjoyment of personal freedoms without unacceptable risk of harm, whilst protecting those in need.

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Comments on the service or complaints about it can be made by telephone to customer services on (01827 715341), fax 01827 719399 or Email davidbaxendale@northwarks.gov.uk
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