Our response times

We have set out standards for the service so that the most serious or immediate problems or requests are dealt with first. We aim to meet the following targets for our initial response:

  • serious or extensive public health problems, such as major pollution incidents, serious accidents at work, food poisoning outbreaks, serious drainage issues, or complaints about stray dogs (temporarily restrained): response on the same working day

  • pest control requests: response within four working days

  • night-time noise problems, public health complaints (such as dumped food waste or bad smells): response within five working days

  • other noise or smoke complaints, housing disrepair or less serious health and safety complaints: response within seven working days

  • non-urgent enquiries and requests for general information: response within 10 working days.

By "response" we mean we will advise you of what action we will take, when and by whom. If we cannot help, you, we will tell you why.

Environmental health does not offer an out-of-hours service, but we will deal with emergencies such as those listed below as a priority:

  • request for assistance by the on-call Public Health Medical Officer

  • notification of a fatality at work that day, under health and safety legislation

  • request for assistance from a senior police officer

  • major emergency incidents (e.g. explosions, chemical leaks), in liaison with the emergency services via the council’s emergency planning arrangements.

Specific enforcement standards

We have an enforcement policy for work carried out by environmental health and separate enforcement policies for the work of the food safety, health and safety and private sector housing teams.

These enforcement policies contain details of inspection and investigation procedures, enforcement options and consistency standards.

If you can appeal against formal action being taken, we will advise you clearly how, when and where to do this at the time we issue the enforcement notice.

Environmental health service quality

We aim to provide a high-quality service that deals with the most serious problems first. We always like to hear from the people who use our service. We want to continue to improve the services and to tailor them to your needs.

Staff handling your enquiry will give you their names and keep you informed at regular intervals of the progress being made.

Environmental and Community Health Services’ Enforcement Policy Statement

Complaints about the service

You can make a complaint about the service you have received from us or if you feel that you have not been treated in accordance with the council's Code of Conduct.