For the first time, Welsh local authorities will have their own national priorities for wide ranging activity affecting the quality of life of their citizens - everything from food safety and safer communities to healthier workplaces and fairer trading.
Today (Tuesday, December 1st) sees the launch of a consultation paper on the first set of national enforcement priorities for Wales, prepared by the public body for better local regulation, LBRO, for the Welsh Assembly Government.
This consultation paper presents four draft national enforcement priorities for Welsh local regulatory services – environmental health, trading standards, licensing and fire safety:
• reducing harm to individuals by promoting health improvement;
• ensuring the safety and quality of the food chain to minimise risk to human and animal health;
• promoting a fair and just trading environment for citizens and business; and
• improving the local environment to positively influence quality of life and promote sustainability.
Andrew Davies, Welsh Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery, said: “"I welcome the start of this consultation and look forward to hearing the views of individuals and organisations. Regulation has an important part to play in protecting citizen interests and promoting service improvement. We now need to ensure it as effective and robust as possible."
Local regulation influences everything from the general health of the community through to reducing alcohol misuse and delivering consumer protection; to supporting local economies when tackling issues such as antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping.
The draft national enforcement priorities are intended to reflect the fundamental principles of One Wales - accountable, citizen-centred public services. They seek to address the regulatory risks and threats faced by citizens in Wales, by setting out the outcomes that local authorities strive to deliver, working with other councils, partner agencies, citizens and business.
However, the distinctiveness of Welsh communities means that local circumstances and priorities will require different approaches in different places. Innovative local solutions, based on local difference, will deliver these nationally important outcomes tailored to local needs.
Chairman of LBRO Clive Grace said: “Regulation should focus on the outcomes that the people of Wales need - safer food, more secure communities, healthier workplaces and fairer trading.
“National enforcement priorities for Wales provide an important opportunity for local authorities and their regulatory services to demonstrate the critical role they play in delivering protection and prosperity for citizens and business at a local and national level.”
This process to develop national enforcement priorities for Wales has used an evidence-based approach. An expert user group advised the review process and government departments, agencies and national regulators supplied supporting evidence. Consumer and business representative groups and local authorities also provided views and comments.
The consultation will last from 1 December 2009 to 19 February 2010.
Notes to editors
1. National enforcement priorities were introduced by the Regulatory Enforcement and
Sanctions Act 2008 and local authorities are required to have regard to national enforcement priorities when allocating their resources.
2. The draft priorities and a set of consultation questions are listed in the consultation paper available at www.lbro.org.uk and http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/?lang=en
Responses can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to:
National Enforcement Priorities Consultation
Performance and Governance Team
Department for Public Services and Performance
Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park 1
The deadline for responses is Friday 19th February 2010.
3. The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) helps local authorities improve their environmental health, trading standards, fire safety and licensing services – reducing burdens on businesses that comply with the law while targeting those who flout it. It was incorporated as a government-owned limited company in May 2007. Following the commencement of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 on 1 October 2008, it now operates as an executive non-departmental public body, accountable to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through the Better Regulation Executive. LBRO is governed by an independent Board, has a staff of around 25 and is based in central Birmingham. Our remit covers the whole of the UK and we liaise closely with the devolved administrations to ensure our work in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is appropriate. For further information please visit www.lbro.org.uk
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department