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Second Reading of the Public Bodies Bill

WhitehallThe Public Bodies Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 9 November.

Details of the Bill and the Hansard report of the debate

During the debate Lord Borrie said: 'The Government have said that the Office of Fair Trading is to lose its consumer protection role, which has so often helped to inform the office in its investigatory competition work. In any case, where is the competition protection work to go to?'

TSI President, Baroness Crawley said: 'The second and last point I wish to make is as president of the Trading Standards Institute, a body supported and respected across this Chamber.

'Trading standards officers work as local authority officials and keep rogue traders at bay, protect the public from loan sharks and assist local businesses in their legitimate growth.

'The announcement by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr Vince Cable, that trading standards is a crucial front-line service along with Citizens Advice and will be strengthened by the new set-out in his consumer landscape review is, of course, to be welcomed but, and it is a very big but, handing over highly significant consumer and competition responsibilities through the Bill at a time of austerity-led local authority funding settlements is a move that has to be extremely carefully thought through because consumers - members of the public - must not be left less safe and more vulnerable with less opportunity and far less advice and choice in their lives.

'There is also the fact that while local government has broad shoulders and no doubt relishes these new challenges, consumers and markets are global as much as local these days and new governance models for trading standards and CABs must reflect those market and consumer demands, whatever the localist versus centralist politics of the day.'