Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.
The Committee received a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection on the Markets and Consumer Protection Business Plan 2020/2021: Progress Report (Period 1).
The Port Health and Public Protection Director introduced the report to the Committee and noted that the report covers the lockdown period and the easements that followed, consequently much of the recent work of the Service has been to assist businesses open and recover from the lockdown.
He noted that the Amber and Red KPIs relate to Port Health and the problems with receiving paperwork from other countries. This is a global issue that is affecting the UK and beyond. Consequently, procedures and processes have been developed with Defra and the Food Standards Agency to address the issue, such as accepting electronic copies of paperwork. This has sped up much of the process and will be in place until the current situation resolves back to some normality.
The Deputy Chairman asked why there seems to be an increase of NO2(Nitrogen dioxide) figures. This was followed by another question in terms of pest visibilities within the City of London.
The Port Health and Public Protection Director noted that there had been a slight increase in the last month in NO2 levels, but it is not to the level experienced pre COVID. The Air Quality Team Manager also updated the Committee and mentioned that the NO2 levels had decreased significantly during the COVID restrictions and the recent slight increase is due to increased traffic and the use of other combustion plant as the City becomes busier.
In terms of the pest visibilities within the City of London, this is potentially due to the lack of people and footfall within the City of London, which has led to the pests being disturbed less and/or foraging further. The Department continues to liaise with business owners, landlords, and other stakeholders in order to resolve any pest issues and asked Members to get in touch should they hear of any cases which need investigating.
The Deputy Chairman noted that on the South of the Millennium bridge, the illegal nut sellers are now back. The Assistant Director of Public Protection responded that the City of London is working with the NationalFood Crime Unit (NFCU), who got in touch with Officers from the City of London when they heard about the City's work on this. The City of London is now putting together a data intelligence pack on all known illegal traders in the City, which will be shared with appropriate partners. The pilot project on the illegal traders is coming to an end, and the Committee will be provided with a further update on this following a review.
RESOLVED – that Members noted the content of this report and the appendices