Headlines: December 14th, 2005

The Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services has been given additional funding to provide support to councils with their environmental protection responsibilities. The boost to LACORS and the extension of its remit follows an agreement with the Local Government Association.The LGA Executive has confirmed that LACORS will now be funded to undertake a range of services relating to environmental protection, prevention and control of air, land, water, and noise. This expansion of its role results from recommendations made its Quinquennial Review in March this year. That report highlighted the need for LACORS to consider expansion into new local authority regulatory services. A strategy will be developed by LACORS and the LGA with key local and central government stakeholders to implement the increased remit.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, the LACORS chairman said the agreement was a tremendous vote of confidence by the LGA for the work of his organisation. The expansion was coming at an important time as central government and businesses were voicing concerns that the delivery of regulatory services should not tie down businesses in red tape. “However,” he said, “of equal importance is the recognition and expectation of consumers and the wider public of higher levels of protection of their environment, health, safety and welfare, through the delivery of high quality regulatory services undertaken by their local authority”.

LACORS Executive Director Derek Allen said its overriding aim was to add value and drive improvement in the services it supported, which, with the expansion, would mean the majority of the regulatory services delivered by local authority environmental health, trading standards and licensing services. LACORS, he added, continue to work closely with the LGA and the Improvement and Development Agency to be better able to provide a more cohesive and joined-up approach.