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The Legislative Approach to the Work of Environmental Health & Trading Standards – what are the principles?

There have been legislative, political and professional influences, particularly originating from central government, that require all Local Authorities to adopt a fresh approach towards the enforcement of regulation.  The result of this change in approach culminated in the enactment of the Legislative & Regulatory Reform Act 2006 and the Regulatory Enforcement Sanctions Act 2008.  These two pieces of legislation require a change in how regulatory outcomes are delivered.  In addition these pieces of legislation helped create the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO). The underpinning aims of the LBRO are to require regulators to:

 

  • reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on business;
  • take a risk based approach to regulatory intervention; and
  • target resources on those businesses/traders who flout their legal responsibilities.

 

The basis of this shift in approach is often referred to as “Better Regulation”.  The idea behind “Better Regulation” is to help support business growth and economic prosperity without compromising the proper protection of consumers, workers and the environment.  The work of Environmental Health & Trading Standards is undertaken with these principles in mind and is reflected in our enforcement policy which is in line with the Regulatory Enforcement Compliance Code.  There is a statutory obligation placed on all regulators to apply the following principles:

 

  • Accountability – activities should be open to public scrutiny, with clear and accessible policies, and fair and efficient complaints procedures in place.
  • Targeted – resources should be focussed on high-risk enterprises, reflecting local need and national priorities.
  • Proportionality – enforcement action should reflect the level of risk to the public and the penalty should relate to the seriousness of the offence.
  • Consistency – advice to business should be reliable and robust and applicable in different parts of the country. Services should operate in similar circumstances.
  • Transparency – businesses should be able to understand what is expected from them by local regulators and what they can anticipate in return

 

For more information about the Enforcement Policy followed by Environmental Health & Trading Standards, please click the link below.

 

Enforcement Policy

 

Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO)

Since Bedford BC became a Unitary Authority in 2009 the Environmental Health & Trading Standards service has been working with the LBRO and the other 8 unitary authorities created as part of Local Government Reorganisation at that time as part of the ‘New Unitaries’ Pioneers Steering Group’.

 

The LBRO and representatives of the 9 New Unitaries have facilitated training, developed policy and key learning points regarding the restructure and changes involved with becoming an New Unitary Authority.

 

Bedford BC has taken part in a number of activities and events hosted by the LBRO, these have proved invaluable in shaping the services delivered by Regulatory Services.  Bedford BC has been used as a case study for leading the way in the transition and integration of its services as part of the reorganisation process.  For more information click the link below.

 

Unitaries Case Study

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