Update on the impact of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) on Port Health & Public Protection – Gavin Stedman
The Port Health and Public Protection Director noted that a report was presented to the Committee in its siting of July 2020, at which point the City of London knew that there would be a phased introduction of Border Controls from January 2021. However, at present we do not know the regime which we will follow at the end of the EU Transition Period (e.g., will EU imports be subject to the same checks as imports entering the UK from outside of the EU or will there be a ‘lighter touch’. It is therefore challenging to predict future workloads at this time.
The Committee was informed that the City of London had made a funding bid to the Food Standards Agency with a request for £474K, but had received only £150K. Officers had gone back to the Food Standards Agency and had asked for other fund opportunities that may be available. Officers had also made a bid to Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs for additional funding for the difference. The closing date for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was the 13 September 2020 and a bid was submitted.
Members raised concerns about the lack of funds being made available. The Chairman assured the Committee that he is working with the Port Health and Public Protection Director to ensure that the funding gaps are addressed, and resources are put in place.
Clean Air Day 8 October 2020 - Ruth Calderwood.
The Air Quality Manager informed the Committee that the Clean Air Day is confirmed for 8 October 2020. This will be the fourth consecutive year that this has been running for; organised by a charity called Global Action Plan. The day aims to raise awareness about clean air, its impacts on health and how communities can reduce air pollution levels locally. Due to COVID-19 the activities will be online; besides, the City of London plans to host an online business event as part of the clean city award scheme. At the event, the City will be launching a tool kit to reduce personal exposure to air pollution.
The day will be promoted on social media, whereby businesses, schools and local residents will be signposted to participate with online activities.
The Committee was further advised that the Air Quality Team is working in collaboration with the Cross River Partnership on the Clean Air Village project and had invited candidates to apply to become Members of the Air Quality Ambassador's programme. Successful candidates for the Ambassadorship of the Clean Air Village will be announced on the day. The Clean Air Village Ambassadors will be trained to become active voices in their local communities to help reduced air pollution.
As a result of the Clean Air Day, the City of London will be putting together a column in City Matters newspaper, which will focus on the improvements that the City had seen in the Square Mile.
The Chairman asked if the plans for the day can be communicated to the
Committee via the Clerk so that Members can share the plan with their own networks.
The Chairman noted a letter to Ruth Calderwood from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. Ruth is the Chair of the London Air Quality Steering Group and a Trustee of Environmental Protection UK, a nationally renowned and respected organisation. The Chairman went onto reading the letter from the Mayor of London praising Ruth and her team’s work.
FORS GOLD Accreditation
The Chairman informed the Committee that the City of London has again this year been accredited with FORS GOLD Award. FORS GOLD award is a very prestigious award, and the City of London aims to lead by example in many aspects. The Chairman congratulated the team involved in achieving the recognition.
London Thames Fishery Research Experiment
The Chairman informed the Committee that the London Thames Fishery Research Experiment would take place on the 17 October 2020, but it will be a significantly scaled-back event with limited participation. The City of London would be represented by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee, subject to no further COVID-19 restrictions and that they can attend.