Minister says ‘Trading Standards will rise to the challenges ahead’
Edward Davey MP addressed the delegates of the 2011 Year Ahead conference on the budget cuts that services are being asked to contemplate.
Via a video recorded message the Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs expressed his support to the trading standards service and the invaluable work they do across the country. ‘I am well aware of the vital work you do, protecting consumers against rogue traders and scam merchants that can blight communities.
‘The unavoidable truth is that Trading Standards has to shoulder its share of the pain of deficit reduction – along with everyone else. But, as we have reviewed the current arrangements, our guiding principle has been to protect the front line.’ The Minister adds, ‘In future you will be working in a more challenging environment – but it’s a challenge I am confident you will rise to.’
Despite the challenging spending climate, the Government has announced an extension of funding for the Scambuster and loan shark teams for another year. ‘These teams are a great example of how Trading Standards services can combine their resources and boost their capacity through collaboration between local authorities.
‘As things stand, consumers are represented by a bewildering array of public, private and voluntary bodies, with overlapping responsibilities. Each individual organisation does a very good job and is highly regarded. But by streamlining the current complex model, we can boost consumer protection while making the public’s money work harder’, said the Minister.
Ron Gainsford, Chief Executive of the Trading Standards Institute, said: ‘We welcome the Government’s confidence in Trading Standards. It’s a brand that enjoys enormous respect, but the fact is that the brand may well outstrip the ability of local government to sustain and fund it. I think it’s a worry that it’s an unprotected fund.’
Ron added, ‘But the point we will constantly make is that Trading Standards is something that’s central to the economic recovery of the country.’
Notes for Editors:
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Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.