We are compiling national data on noise nuisance complaints relating to auditory bird scaring devices (propane gas guns, banger ropes etc).
If available, we'd like the source data as extracts from the Environmental Health Department's database, redacted to protect confidential information. We are particularly interested in the postcodes of the alleged noise nuisance of audible bird scaring devices.
Cover period: 1. January 2015 - 30 June 2019, broken down by year
Auditory Bird Scaring Devices = ABDS
National Farmer's Union = NFU
1) Does the EHD log all noise nuisance complaints (phone,email,letter)?
2) How many noise nuisance complaints (all causes) were received in cover period?
3) How many of these related to ABSD?
4) How many of those related to ABSD, resulted in an abatement notice being issued?
5) NFU Code of Practice specifies that farmers should register ABSD with the local council. How many guns were registered with the council during the cover period?
6) NFU Code of Practice is a voluntary code, but Councils are allowed to issue bye-laws. Does the Council have a bye-law regarding the use of ABSD?
7) Does the EHD have an internal policy for the process of investigating noise nuisance by ABSD?
If yes, please supply a copy.
8) How many times was the EHD unable to investigate / act on a complaint because the owner/operator of a gun could not be identified?
9) When deciding whether an ABSD constitutes statutory noise nuisance, does the council rely on noise monitoring data, or does it accept the subjective evidence by a EHO?
10) If noise monitoring equipment is used, how many machines does the environmental Health Department have that are suitable for measuring noise emission from ABSD?
11) If noise monitoring equipment is used, which BS standard is applied?
12) How many Environmental Officers does the Environmental Health Department employ?
13) How many days Continuous Professional Development has the team received in relation to statutory noise nuisance?
14) If the data exist, is it possible to break down outcomes of complaints into how many ended in
a) informal discussion with offender only
b) visit to the property & subjective assessment by EHO
c) installation of noise monitoring
d) noise monitoring found that no statutory noise nuisance exists
e) noise monitoring found that statutory noise monitoring does exists
f) resulted in abatement notice
g) abatement notices contested
2015 = 1360 registered complaints
2016 = 1267 registered complaints
2017 = 1251 registered complaints
2018 = 1472 registered complaints
2019 (to 30/06/2019) = 696 registered complaints
3) We have received approximately five noise complaints attributed to bird-scarers over the stated period. Two in 2015, one in 2016 and two in 2018.
7) Thurrock Council Environmental Health has a general procedure for investigating noise complaints, but does not have procedures for specific noise sources.
8) Twice, both in 2018
9) To determine whether a noise constitutes a statutory nuisance the investigating Officer will base their decision on existing case law, for example, considering level, duration, frequency etc, of the noise source.
10) Noise monitoring equipment would not be used for this type of noise. A noise diary would be sent to the complainant to assist in the investigatory process.
11) Not applicable to this type of noise.
12) In the Environmental Health Pollution Team there are two full time EHOs and two part time EHOs.
13) CPD points earned over the course of each year is personal information relating to the individual officer, we are therefore not able to provide this information.
14) The three complaints where the source of the noise had been identified were resolved when the complainants withdrew their complaints after an initial response from Environmental Health.
You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.
Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information. Please email email@example.com if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your FOI request you can pursue an Internal Review by contacting us using the above email address. Your request will be considered by the Strategic Lead for Information Management who will update you with the outcome of the review.
If you remain unhappy following the outcome of your Internal Review you may wish to refer your case to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), details of this organisation can be found at www.ico.org.uk . Please be advised that the ICO will not consider your case until they have confirmation that you have already been through the Internal Review stage with the council.