Its been another hectic week. We had three seperate mornings of suspension/complaint hearings for the licensing board. One licensee ended up with her license suspended for 12 months for what was apparently the worst case of allowing underage drinking to come before the board in the better part of 20 years.
Perhaps the most important part of the week though was when I attended a demonstration of domestic sprinkler systems. In a disused block of flats, the fire service installed a sprinkler system in one room, but didnt install one in the other. They then set fire to both rooms at the same time. The difference was really startling. The room with the sprinkler in it was almost untouched, the other room was utterly destroyed. In view of this, the council, from 2009, will insist on all new social housing being fitted with domestic sprinkler systems. I'm delighted this is the case. Its not too expensive, and anyway, what is the cost of a human life? The proposal has received cross party support and it's great that everyone agrees on this.
The council also decided to give our wardens the power to fine litter droppers, fly tippers and those who don't pick up after their dogs the power to fine them. I'm glad that this also received cross party support.
Housing remains the biggest priority for many, and the council has to respond to the Scottish Govts consultation document 'Firm Foundations'. This is an important issue, and not one for the kind of pathetic politics I have seen so often before. To that end, I invited all council members to attend a briefing and discussion on the document and to formulate the councils response to it.
Overall, the Neighbourhood Services committee went ok. The opposition landed a few good blows, and you have to respect well argued points of view.