Headlines: December 9th, 2004

A high level agreement has been reached that will see central and local government working in closer partnership in the field of Health and Safety. The arrangement has been made jointly by the Health and Safety Commission, the Health and Safety Executive and associations representing local authority interests.The joint approach was unveiled at the annual conference of the Health and Safety Executive and the Local Authority Enforcement Liaison Committee and centres on building a new partnership to deliver health and safety enforcement.

Derek Allen, the Executive Director of the Local Authorities’ Coordinators of Regulatory Services, said the Health and Safety Commission was clear that both local authorities and the HSE were vital contributors to the success of its strategy. He said the high-level agreement offered a sound framework for synergies and true partnership working between local authorities and the HSE and all the parties involved were committed to delivering.

Similarly, Allan Davies, Head of the Local Authority Unit for HSE said there was a feeling among all those he spoke to that there was a positive approach to partnership working and an enthusiasm to make it work. Joyce Edmond Smith, an elected member from Brighton and Hove Council who is also a Health and Safety Commissioner said, “This is a landmark occasion, an opportunity for local authorities to be recognised for the important work they do in ensuring our workforce are protected at work.”