Headlines: March 1st, 2000

The local authorities whose job it is to take dirty restaurants to court are being invited by the Cabinet Office to take part in regulation development as well as enforcement.The food safety officers who patrol, inspect and prosecute food outlets are being invited to take a more active role in improving the quality of regulation. They are also being urged to adopt best practice when regulation needs to be enforced.

They face a challenging year, with the introduction of the Food Standards Agency and the impact of Best Value on local authority services in April.

The Cabinet Office is charged with modernising regulation and is concerned that relatively few councils have so far signed up to the Enforcement Concordat – a code of best practice to ensure the fair regulation of business.

Offering more development input to the food safety section of local government is part of a charm offensive to encourage more councils to see that the concordat has something to offer in return for extra effort.

The offer was made at the FoodSafe 2000 seminar in Basingstoke in a speech by Cabinet Office Minister Graham Stringer.