​​​​​​​Councillors commend Environmental Health Team public response

Highland Councillors on the Communities and Place Committee have considered a report on the performance of the Council’s Environmental Health Service for the year 2022/23 and approved the service’s operational plan for 2023/24.

Councillors noted the Environmental Health delivery of statutory duties to:

  • over 6000 properties on private water supplies,
  • over 5000 food businesses, and
  • response to 12,000 annual service requests on a wide range of public health, nuisance, licensing, safety, dog control, animal health and incivility issues.

Communities and Place Committee Chair, Cllr Graham MacKenzie said: “I commend the excellent work that the Environmental Health Team does in supporting the public. Following the challenges of the pandemic; the EU exit transition and introduction of new legislation, they have continued with a mammoth recovery task of statutory duties this past year. They are a credit to The Highland Council, and I thank all our officers.”

The Environmental Health Team carries out a wide range of duties protecting and improving public health including investigations into public health protection; food safety; health and safety, private sector housing, pollution control, contaminated land; animal health and welfare; and licensing duties. They are also engaged in dog and pest control, dog fouling, litter education and enforcement, fly-tipping, waste duty of care, and abandoned vehicles investigations.

Regarding the new regulations on short term lets licensing the Team have assessed 738 application consultations averaging around 70-80 per week.

The Highland Council is committed to supporting the UK and Scottish Government resettlement scheme for Ukraine refugees which has resulted in the Environment Health Team inspecting 534 properties across the Highland region for resettlement use in the past year.

Environmental Health work has continued licensing of residential caravan sites, pet selling and animal sanctuaries and animal homing and breeding activities.

Other EU exit work has related to inspections and audits of exporting food businesses and other business activities related to import / export of food and goods with the EU.

Implementing the single-use plastic ban in conjunction with Trading Standards colleagues was also noted, along with the engagement with NHS Highland and Argyll & Bute on the introduction of smoke-free perimeters around hospitals in their areas.

Councillors approved the Environmental Health operational plan for 2023/24 and welcomed that future annual reports on the Environmental Health Team’s performance will be presented to Area Committees in the coming year (2023).

Details of the Environmental Health Operational Plan for 2023/24 can be viewed at this link (see appendix 1)








23 Feb 2023