Headlines: July 1st, 2009

Councils who are trying to support their local businesses through the recession are being urged to make the most of the part their own regulatory services can play. The Local Better Regulation Office is publishing a new document giving examples of best practice showing how issues ranging from work-related ill health to alcohol misuse and taxi licensing can all be tackled in ways that promote prosperity.

The new guidance aims to demonstrate how environmental health, fire safety services, licensing and trading standards play an often under-estimated role in supporting businesses. A recent survey by the LBRO found that more than half the face-to-face contacts that small and medium sized businesses had with councils were with regulatory services staff. Now it wants to encourage all elected members, chief executives and service directors to assess how they can take advantage of those local contacts and of the knowledge and expertise of officers working in regulation.

The recommendations for developing regulatory services include a continuous improvement culture, maximising the use of resources and reaching better outcomes through local, regional and national partnerships and greater collaboration.

The chairman of LBRO, Clive Grace said: “The leadership of elected members and Chief Executives has been critical to developing local ways forward amidst the global crisis. Better regulation has an important part to play, supporting business and protecting communities.”