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Environmental Health Business Charter

The Environmental Health Team aims to ensure the health, safety and welfare of everyone who lives or works in the Tandridge District.

In dealing with the business sector we are committed to achieving this aim through advice and persuasion, rather than by formal action, whenever possible.

In this Business Charter we outline how we work in partnership with local businesses, what to expect when we visit your business and what to do if you think the outcome of the visit is unfair.

Advice

If you are thinking of starting a business, or planning changes to your premises or activities, it can save money and time to ask our advice about any legal duties or good practice guidelines which may be relevant. We can give you advice by telephone, or visit you to discuss your proposals.

Routine visits to your business

Environmental Health Officers and Technical officers have to carry out routine visits to your business. They may call without warning to undertake these routine inspections or to investigate a complaint.

The frequency of inspections depends on:

  • Potential hazards and the risk of incident in relation to the type of business.
  • Legal duties placed on this Council.
  • Your past performance.

For example some high-risk food premises will receive a visit every six months, while most other premises will be inspected much less frequently, depending on the hazards and risks involved.

What can you expect from us?

  • Courtesy
  • To be shown identification, if the officer is not already known to you.
  • A polite manner.
  • Constructive, helpful advice.
  • An explanation of why the visit has taken place and what work or action the officer wants you to do.
  • A clear explanation of any formal action the officers will take following the visit and any implications for the business.

Professionalism

  • We will make it clear what you must do to comply with the law and what is good practice.
  • All requirements will be fair, reasonable and necessary to protect the public and the safety, health and welfare of any employees, to comply with the legal duties placed on the business.
  • You will be given an achievable and realistic period to meet legal requirements, unless there is immediate danger to individual safety or health.
  • We will give you information about the procedure for appealing against any formal action taken.
  • An assurance that unless legal action is necessary, your case will remain confidential.

Policies, concerns & complaints

  • The Authority has adopted a generic enforcement policy. Our objective is to provide fair and firm enforcement that is supported by the business community.
  • Copies of the policy can be obtained on written request
  • Businesses can contact Paul Barton, Chief Community Service Officer, or David Beattie, Head of Environmental Health, who will start to investigate the complaint or concerns within ten working days.
  • We aim to reply to 80% of letters within five working days and to answer 100% of letters within ten working days.

Appeals

  • If you have been served with a formal notice, there will be a right of appeal, usually to a Magistrates Court. Details about how to appeal are included with the notice.
  • The Council also has adopted a corporate enforcement policy to ensure a consistent approach across the wide range of enforcement activities which are undertaken.