Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/02/2007
APPENDIX M - IMPLEMENTATION OF SMOKEFREE LEGISLATION IN WAVERLEY



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to advise members about the Council’s role in the introduction and enforcement of smokefree legislation.

APPENDIX M
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE - 6TH FEBRUARY 2007


Title:
IMPLEMENTATION OF SMOKEFREE LEGISLATION IN WAVERLEY

[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to advise members about the Council’s role in the introduction and enforcement of smokefree legislation.

Environmental implications:

The recommendations of this report will lead to an improvement in indoor air quality.

Social / community implications:

The recommendations of this report will lead to positive health improvements.

E-Government implications:

Use of the Waverley website to support promotional activity.

Resource and legal implications:

The Health Act 2006 makes provision for prohibiting smoking in workplaces, enclosed public places and commercial vehicles. The enforcement of this legislation is a statutory duty for Waverley Borough Council.

Introduction

1. Smoking is recognised to be the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK, killing around 106,000 people every year.

2. The Health Act 2006 will require that virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces will be smoke-free. This will reduce everyone’s exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, as well as providing smokers who want to quit with a much more supportive environment to do so.

3. The Council will be the sole enforcement authority for the smokefree legislation in Waverley, with central Government funding confirmed to support the discharge of this new responsibility (details in paragraph 12).

4. Within Waverley Borough Council, the Environmental Health Section will be the organisational lead for the smokefree legislation and the key source of technical information for other departments. Examples of the wider organisational impact are detailed in paragraph 6.

5. The legislation will also have wider impacts on the work of Waverley Borough Council’s partners, and the process of supporting implementation has been championed by the Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) of both Guildford and Waverley. Details of the proposed support package are provided in paragraph 9.

Implications for Waverley Borough Council and its Partners

6. Beyond the enforcement implications, the introduction of the legislation will involve a number of wider implications for Waverley, including:
Partnership Approach

7. The Waverley LSP is formed of senior representatives from the major public agencies operating in the Borough, as well as representatives from the business, voluntary and community sectors. The aim of the partnership is to increase value for money in the delivery of local priorities (as outlined in the Community Strategy) by supporting and delivering key programmes of work. This is achieved by information sharing, by aligning resources, exerting influence to remove obstacles and, on occasion, by sourcing direct funding to augment delivery processes.

8. In September 2006, the Waverley LSP received a presentation from Karen Simmonds of the Smokefree Surrey Alliance. Strategic endorsement and support for a targeted communications campaign and cross-boundary implementation network to ease the implementation of the smoke-free public places legislation was agreed.

9. The project will involve working with dutyholders and stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding, and thus to ensure compliance without the need for formal enforcement action. To date, contributions in excess of 1,500 have been committed by partners to support the communications drive in Waverley. Existing channels of communication will also be utilised (e.g. business groups, local media, Council newsletters and website) to help dutyholders comply, with the LSP instrumental in ensuring appropriate coverage.

National Support Measures

10. The Department of Health is funding national publicity campaigns to inform the public and business about the new legislation and what it will mean for them. The DH will also be writing to all businesses to advise them of the requirements and providing appropriate signage.

11. Surrey Primary Care Trust (PCT) offers smoking cessation support through local stop smoking groups and GP surgeries.

Resource and financial implication

12. In December 2006, The Department of Health and the Local Government Association agreed on a total funding package of 29.5 million for first-tier local authorities in 2007/08 (the first year of smokefree legislation). The detail of the grant funding is set out in the Local Authority Circular LAC (2006) 17 dated 21st December 2006. In the case of Waverley, the funding intended to support Environmental Health Services undertake this new work is 9,617 for 2006/07, with further of 47,034 for 2007/08.

13. It is anticipated that some routine enforcement and advice can be provided to most dutyholders during programmed food safety and health and safety inspections. However, smokefree legislation will apply to a range of workplaces that are not included in the Councils’ inspection regime (e.g. low risk establishments outside the routine inspection programme or premises enforced by the Heath and Safety Executive).

14. The additional officer time proposed within the central funding allocation will be required to respond to complaints, or in cases where enforcement (including prosecution) is necessary. Existing staffing levels and services would not otherwise be able to accommodate this component of the authority’s new duties.

Legal Implications

15. The Head of Environmental Health Services will need to be authorised to appoint appropriate persons to undertake the enforcement of The Health Act 2006 and associated Regulations.

16. Legally, the duty to meet the requirements of the legislation rests with the occupier of the premises. Experience in Scotland and Ireland shows that, on the whole, the introduction of smoke free legislation is self regulating and driven by public demand. There are, however, expected to be pockets of resistance to the proposed changes and formal enforcement action may be necessary. The Environmental Health Section has formally adopted the Cabinet Office Enforcement Concordat, and considers its principles when deciding upon any enforcement action.

Recommendation

It is recommended that

1. the Council adopts an approach of working with dutyholders and stakeholders, starting in advance of the legislation coming into force, which will include: Direct involvement with dutyholders to build compliance through education, advice and support; and
The joint LSP project to raise awareness and understanding; 2. officers work with other enforcement authorities and partners in Surrey to develop a consistency of approach, developing a risk-based approach to reduce the burden on business;

3. the Department of Health funding outlined in paragraph 12 be committed to supporting the statutory duties that will be carried out by the Environmental Health Section of Waverley Borough Council (as outlined in this report); and

4. the Head of Environmental Services be authorised to appoint appropriate persons to undertake enforcement under The Health Act 2006 and associated Regulations and the Scheme of Delegation be amended accordingly.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Victoria Buckroyd Telephone: 01483 523436




Comms/exec/2006-07/281