This policy covers the enforcement legislation by the Council, its Officers or contractors.
2.1 Previously various Council service areas have had service specific enforcement policies. This is the first version of the corporate Enforcement Policy applying to multiple service areas. Service areas may also have their own service specific procedures/protocols regarding enforcement to which they may have regard when carrying out their regulatory work.
2.2 This policy sets out the steps Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will use to secure compliance with the law while minimising the burden on individuals, businesses and the Council.
2.3 This policy is based on the statutory principles of good regulation4, namely:
- Proportionality: to ensure that action taken relates directly to the actual or potential risk (for example to health, safety or the environment.)
- Accountability: to a number of interested parties. This may include Welwyn Hatfield Council elected members, local and national businesses, members of the public and national regulatory bodies.
- Consistency: to ensure that similar issues are dealt with in the same way, having regard to and making full use of guidance produced by Government and other national agencies.
- Transparency: to ensure enforcement action to be taken by the Council is easily understood. Clear distinctions will be made between legal requirements and recommendations about good practice which are not compulsory.
- Targeted: regulation will only take place in cases where action is needed.
2.4 In carrying out its function as a regulator the Council will try to avoid imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens. Before undertaking enforcement action the Council will generally assess whether similar social environmental or economic outcomes could be achieved by means other than formal enforcement.
4 These are provided in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, s21.