Regulatory Services Factsheet

By on 20/03/2010 in Factsheets

Regulatory Services provide the Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Licensing and Registrars Services for the City of Birmingham. Our mission is to achieve a safe, clean, green and fair trading city for residents, business and visitors.

To view our Customer Care Charter, visit the website:
www.birmingham.gov.uk/regulatoryservices

What we said we would do:

• Respond to a request for assistance within 5 working days
• If you write to us we will respond within 5 working days
• If you phone us we will answer within 15 seconds
• If you are unable to visit us, we will visit you
• Inspect 100% of food, health and safety and industrial pollution control premises on our plan
• Investigate any complaints you make about our service openly and thoroughly

What we achieved in the last year:

• We responded to 98% of all requests for assistance and advice within our 5 day target
• We responded to 97% of letters within our 5 day target
• We answered 100% of phone calls within 15 seconds
• We carried out over 5,000 food hygiene and 4,000 health and safety inspections
• Over 90% of our customers were satisfied with the overall quality of our services
• We received 82 complaints about our services of which 20 were upheld. We also received 359 compliments about our services

What we also did:

• We responded to more than 80,000 requests for help
• We gave consumer advice to almost 30,000 callers
• We recovered over half a million pounds in redress for consumers and had over £1.4 million of debt written off for our debt advice customers
• We seized counterfeit goods with a street value in excess of £5 million
• We issued over 1,000 fixed penalties for littering

All written correspondence to Regulatory Services should be addressed to:

Ladbrooke House,
Bordesley Street,
Digbeth,
Birmingham
B5 5BL

Environmental Health

General enquiries:
Tel: 0121 303 6007
publichealth@birmingham.gov.uk

Dog Wardens:
Tel: 0121 303 9900

Pest Control:
Tel: 0121 303 6007 or 303 6993

Trading Standards
General:
Tel: 0121 303 6031
tradingstandards@birmingham.gov.uk

Doorstoppers
Tel: 0121 303 9367

Illegal Money Lending Team
Tel: 0300 555 2222
stoploansharks@birmingham.gov.uk

Licensing
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing
Tel: 0121 303 8442

Alcohol and Entertainment, Gambling and General Licensing
Tel: 0121 303 9896

Licensing Enforcement
Tel: 0121 303 9611
licensing@birmingham.gov.uk

Register Office
Tel: 0121 675 1000
register.office@birmingham.gov.uk
 

Environmental Health

Our Environmental Health section provides all of these services:

We deal with over 50,000 requests for assistance each year about Environmental Health issues, such as:

• Blocked drains
• Domestic and industrial noise
• Air pollution including bonfires and industrial emissions
• Fly tipping, littering, dog fouling, graffiti and fly posting
• Food hygiene, food complaints and food poisoning
• Health and safety complaints and accidents
• Animal welfare and stray dogs
• Dangerous trees
• Infestations of rats and insects
• Unauthorised traveller encampments

We also carry out a range of inspections and investigations to protect public health, including:

• Compliance with smoking legislation
• Monitoring food hygiene in over 7,000 food outlets
• Tackling Environmental Crime
• Regulating air pollution from over 250 industrial processes
• Monitoring air quality across the City
• Inspection of health and safety in a wide variety of businesses
• Licensing of pet shops, zoos, kennels and catteries
• Monitoring trade waste contracts
• Identifying and clearing up contaminated land
We also deliver a range of competitively priced commercial pest control treatments.
We provide Birmingham's Coronial and Mortuary Services.

Hygiene Scores on the Doors

Did you know that you can see the hygiene scores of your favourite restaurant on our website?
Visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/hygienescores

Air Quality

Did you know that you can check the air quality in any part of Birmingham or the West Midlands?
Visit www.wmair.org

You can find information about us on our website: www.birmingham.gov.uk/environmental-health

Licensing

The Licensing Service is responsible for:

Dealing with the licences and regulation of a wide range of people, vehicles and premises including:

• Processing the grant and renewal of 13,000 licences for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles, drivers and operators.
• Under the Licensing Act 2003 premises licences for pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas and late night takeaways, including mobiles.
The activities that are covered include the sale of alcohol by retail. The supply of alcohol to club members and their guests and the provision of regulated entertainment.

• Under the Gambling Act 2005 the licences of betting shops, bingo halls, casinos and permits for gaming machines.
• Sex shops
• Charitable street collections
• House to house collections

The Licensing Enforcement team are authorised to enforce legislation relating to all licensing issues and ensure that all complaints are fully and fairly investigated.

Based at our offices at Licensing, Crystal Court, Aston Cross Business Village, 50 Rocky Lane, Aston, Birmingham, B6 5RQ, we are equipped with purpose built reception facilities that receive over 20,000 personal callers each year.

Did you know?

You are not insured when travelling in a Private Hire car if you do not book it through the vehicle operator? So beware! Make sure that the operator's details are displayed. Only Hackney Carriages (traditional style cabs) can be flagged down.

Trading Standards

• We provide consumers with free help and advice on faulty goods and services. We obtained redress of over half a million pounds last year for consumers. Traders can also benefit from free advice on how to comply with the law.

• We protect young people by ensuring that traders do not supply alcohol, cigarettes, solvents, fireworks or knives to children. If sales are made, shops can be fined, cautioned or summonsed as appropriate. Licensed premises may put their licence at risk.

• The safety of new and second hand goods is checked. Last year problems ranged from exploding light bulbs to cosmetics containing banned poisons.

• Money Advisors provide confidential help to people in debt. Last year they helped 436 people with debts amounting to £6.7 million and following our intervention, £1.4 million was written off.

• We have a rapid response service for consumers troubled by rogue builders or doorstep sellers. Calls received are dealt with immediately and officers will go to assist the householder in dealing with the tradesman.

• Goods you buy should be correctly described, in the agreed quantity and correctly priced. Officers regularly inspect shop premises, test weighing and measuring equipment and will seize any illegal copies of CDs, DVDs, clothing and other counterfeit goods. Jewellery is checked to make sure it is correctly described and hallmarked.

• We place great importance on providing consumer education to help raise awareness of our rights. This is achieved through talks to schools, groups and traders. We organise national competitions for school children including those with learning difficulties. We also hold regular meetings with representatives from neighbourhood forums and trade associations.

• Officers act to stop car traders from selling 'clocked' and unsafe cars. Last year we dealt with over 470 car complaints and obtained £230,000 redress. Checks are also made for overloaded lorries which pose a danger to other vehicles, pedestrians and buildings. Almost half of the 238 weighed last year were found to be overloaded. Fines totalled £17,800.

• A special team targets loan sharks - illegal moneylenders who charge huge amounts of interest and may use violence. We have succeeded in prosecuting many such lenders with prison sentences imposed in some cases.

• Car Clampers cause great concern because of their operating methods and the exorbitant release fees imposed. We are campaigning against their excessive practices.

Did you know?

Trading Standards produce a FREE Consumer Action Pack to help you deal with your Consumer Complaints.

If you would like a copy, please contact us:

Telephone 0121 303 6031, or visit us at Ladbrooke House, Bordesley Street, Digbeth, B5 5BL for advice between the hours of 9.00 to17.00 Monday to Thursday, 9.00 to 16.00 on Fridays.

Face to face advice is available on Saturdays between 9.30 and 12.30 from the Citizens Advice Bureau in the Gazette Building, Corporation Street, Birmingham City Centre.

Alternatively, you can e-mail us at any time:
tradingstandards@birmingham.gov.uk

You can find information about us on our website:
www.birmingham.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Illegal money lending team (loan sharking)

• Have you, or anyone you know, been offered a cash loan?
• Have you been threatened when you couldn't pay?
• Has your benefit card been taken from you?
• Does what you owe keep growing even though you are making payments?

If you can answer 'yes' to the above, you may have been bitten by a loan shark.

For help and advice in confidence, contact the Loan Shark Team on:

0300 555 2222
Text: loan (space) shark (space) + your message to 60003.
email: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks

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