I have just received my copy of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s quarterly journal. It does not make good reading. The article that stands out is a small piece on page three and a quote on the index page. The article relates to proposals by Liverpool City Council to cut its trading standard’s staff compliment from nineteen officers to just four. The quote, from a senior officer of the city’s trading standards service. states that she currently foresees the profession disappearing within five years.
Complaints from residents of Liverpool have forced the council to review their decision and there is still a possibility that a judicial review of the decision will take place. Notwithstanding any review, it is clear that severe cuts to the service in Liverpool will take place.
You may ask what this has to do with your business and why you should care that the service is being reduced? The answer is that council trading standards officers do not only prosecute rogue traders. In addition to their enforcement role, these officers have, until now, provided a critical service to local businesses by advising them on trading law compliance.
As a qualified trading standards officer with over 20 year’s experience, a major part of my job was helping businesses navigate the trading law environment. That meant doing more than issuing leaflets or directing businesses to a website; it meant working closely with businesses over an extended period of time and helping them develop their due diligence procedures and policies. This often meant sitting with senior managers of a business and writing policy’s with them.
As local authority trading standards service provision is reduced, it is clear that their priority will be the detection and prosecution of rogue traders. Councils will simply not have the time, resources or staff to advise and work closely with firms on legal compliance.
Philmus Consulting Ltd has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your company complies with the law and can work with you to develop legally compliant policies and procedures which fit within your company’s marketing mix.
Philmus Consulting Ltd, helping business navigate the trading law environment.