Headlines: November 17th, 2009

Local councils have a critical role to play in national economic recovery but are often overlooked according to the LOCAL Better Regulation Office. It has produced new guidance on the ways councils can support businesses and these will be discussed later this week.

The LBRO guidance shows how environmental health, fire safety services, licensing and trading standards staff can play an important part in aiding economic recovery by working with local businesses. It includes examples of issues such as work-related ill health, alcohol misuse, even taxi licensing, which local regulators can tackle in ways that promote prosperity. The guidance will be at the centre of debate at LBRO’s national conference on Thursday.

Clive Grace, the LBRO chairman, said: “The debate around the national economy has been dominated by sums so huge that they challenge our ability to comprehend them and put them in context. It is too easy to forget where the majority of our prosperity is generated, the small and medium size grass roots businesses in towns and cities up and down the country, and their local authorities can make a huge difference to them and how they prosper.”

LBRO believes councils can help boost their local economies by making rules easier to follow and cutting the cost of compliance. To that end, its conference theme will be about forging a new relationship between business and local regulators. The keynote address will be by the Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform, Ian Lucas. Clive Grace added: “The potential long term benefits of boosting economic prosperity and improving the quality of life for everyone are very significant. We want this conference to help forge a new relationship with business and consumers.”