Small Firms Called on to Consult on Red Tape

Small businesses have been called on to give their views on local government’s regulatory enforcement priorities, in an initiative aimed at reducing the red tape they face.

The call comes from Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO), the organisation responsible for improving how local authorities enforce regulation in areas that affect local businesses ― such as environmental health, trading standards and licensing. LBRO is also tasked with reducing burdens on businesses that comply with the law, while targeting those who flout it.

The aim of the consultation is to determine exactly which regulatory areas, or priorities, should be focused on by local councils. By giving businesses the opportunity to influence the regulation framework, the idea is that any unnecessary administrative requirements they face can be reduced.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is backing the initiative, saying that cutting red tape is a major concern for most small firms.

“A risk-based approach, with the focus on outcomes rather than ticking boxes, is key to addressing issues relating to red tape,”

said BCC policy adviser, Steve Hughes.

“The economic climate has altered considerably since the current priorities in regulation were set, and the change of emphasis makes good sense.”

The LBRO’s enforcement priorities were last set three years ago, when five areas were selected: air quality, alcohol licensing, hygiene of food businesses, improving health in the workplace and fair trading.

“This is a prime opportunity for business to help shape the regulatory landscape and focus efforts to protect the public,”

said LBRO chairman, Clive Grace.

“We would welcome contributions from the business community in addition to our work with local and national regulators in identifying particular areas for concern.”

The consultation will continue through the summer, with draft priority areas set to be published in draft form this autumn.  It is expected that the final draft will go before ministers early next year.

For more information about the consultation, email enquiries@lbro.org.uk or telephone 0121 226 4000.

Small Firms Called on  to Consult on Regulatory Enforcement Priorities

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