10. Principles of enforcement - transparency and openness
7.4.1 Transparency is vitally important in maintaining public confidence in the ability to regulate. It means helping both those regulated and others to understand what is expected of them and what they should expect from the Service. It also means making clear why an officer intends to, or has taken enforcement action.
7.4.2 Transparency is an integral part of the role of the Council’s officers and the Service continues to train its staff and to develop its procedures to ensure that: -
- where remedial action is required, it is clearly explained (and confirmed in writing, if requested) why the action is necessary and when it must be carried out; a clear distinction will always be made between legal requirements and best practice advice;
- opportunity is provided to discuss the circumstances of the case, clarify what is required to comply with the law and if possible, resolve any points of difference, before formal enforcement action is taken, unless urgent action is required, for example, to protect serious harm or to prevent evidence being destroyed;
- where urgent action is required, a written explanation of the reasons is provided as soon as practicable after the event;
- written explanation will be given of any rights of appeal against formal enforcement action at the time the action is taken. This will explain the appeal procedure, where and when an appeal may be made as well as confirming the grounds on which it may be brought. It will make clear where action will be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.
7.4.3 Every effort will be made to ensure that information and advice is provided in plain language without abbreviations or jargon and is distributed as widely as possible. Details of the ways in which the Service works, as well as the charges it sets for any of its services and arrangements for consulting with its stakeholders will be made freely available. Where appropriate, explanatory leaflets will be produced for both businesses and the public.
7.4.4 Copies of this Enforcement Policy will be published and will be made available free to businesses and individuals on request.
7.4.5 The Service holds Public Registers of Notices served and Licences issued under legislation for which it has enforcing responsibility. The information held on the Public Registers is displayed on our website, or can be viewed by calling at the District Council's office at the Knowle, Sidmouth.
7.4.6 The Service holds a Public Register of food premises operating within the East Devon district, which can be viewed at the District Council offices at the Knowle, Sidmouth. Copies of the Food Premises Register can be purchased on request.