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Environmental Health Work Commended During ‘Challenging Year'

11th November 2021

The work of The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team has been commended by Members of the Council's Communities and Place Committee.

A report to Councillors this week has highlighted that the Environmental Health Team responded during COVID-19 in 2020/21 by investigating almost 1000 clusters and outbreaks.

Other work -
supporting food businesses through the EU Exit (inspecting over 300 local fishing vessels and working with over 40 local exporting companies);
supporting the recovery of statutory duties to over 6000 properties on private water supplies, over 5000 food businesses; and
responding to almost 10,000 annual service requests on a wide range of public health, nuisance, licensing, safety, dog control, animal health and incivility issues.

Chair of the Communities and Place Committee Cllr Allan Henderson said: "This past year has been very challenging for the environmental health team with significant pressures placed upon them due to the pandemic coupled with the transition through the EU Exit. I would like to thank Officers for their dedication, professionalism, and diligence for the advice, support, and assistance they have provided to our communities across the region."

Councillors noted the work undertaken by Officers on preparing for, and implementing new, regulatory, and operational requirements including licensing for short-term lets, residential caravan sites and new pet and animal welfare activities, supporting the Council’s Highland visitor management plan and new requirements for food labelling.

Vice Chair of Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Hugh Morrison added: "I look forward to the annual reports that are being prepared by local environmental health teams that will be reported to the Council’s forthcoming Area Committees and I also commend the Environmental Health Team’s continued support vital which is vital as we progress through recovery and onwards. The amount of work that the Environmental Health Team team covers is remarkable given broad scale of the topics and area that they cover. I would like to add my thanks for the wonderful work and help that they provide in Highland."

An Operational Plan for the Council’s Environmental Health Team to 31 March 2023 was also presented to Councillors which will focus on - among other tasks - a focus on continued COVID-19 related duties; working on the national FSS Covid19 food recovery project and other duties not exclusively related to private water supplies, licensing, food safety.

 

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