Press releases

Lord Heseltine chairs second National Trading Standards Conversation

Picture of Lord Heseltine

Lord Heseltine, author of the influential 'No Stone Unturned' report, has chaired an Independent Challenge Panel of trading standards professionals and stakeholders. The panel came together to develop a remit for the second National Trading Standards Conversation. The decision to hold a second 'conversation'* comes as local authorities and trading standards face further austerity cuts, whilst the work of trading standards remain crucial to the economy's recovery. 

Providing a huge opportunity for stakeholders and top trading standards influencers to have their voices heard, the panel included Leon Livermore, Trading Standards Institute (TSI) Chief Executive, Lord Toby Harris, Chairman of the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB), Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice, and Stephen Hagan, spokesperson for Economy and Sustainability, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA).

The panel discussed TSI's outline proposals for the discussion themes to be taken out into the broader community of partners, stakeholders, business and consumers. It was recognised that trading standards plays an integral role in supporting businesses to boost the economy. Top of the agenda was the need to create a 'business plan' to demonstrate what trading standards brings to economic growth and consumer protection.   It was agreed that the issue of working more effectively with partners should be on the agenda, and the debate should include improving the quality of services across the board. The theme of fine-tuning and using intelligence as a tool both for catching criminals and rogues, but also for exposing to local government, consumers and business to the hazards if trading standards services were lost was also agreed

The next development will be a range of meetings with groups of stakeholders up and down the country to take the 'conversation' into closer detail before presenting findings in a special report. 

The National Trading Standards Conversation aims to develop a robust institute policy position on the future of trading standards delivery and to widen support for TSI's position. 

Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of TSI said: "It is brilliant to see trading standards being discussed on a national level by key figures and organisations working together for genuine progress.

"Good trading standards drive a vibrant economy, so it is clear that The National Trading Standards Conversation is vital for the country's economic growth. Even as the industry suffers austerity cuts, it is vital for us to maintain and even advance our high trading standards, something that is proven by this conversation." 


 Notes for Editors:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Irja Howie at TSI press office on 08456089430 / 07780675815 or

*The 'conversation' follows the 2011's TSI national conversation, which developed a response to the consumer landscape review. Although successful in terms of its aims, had some short-falls such as the limiting nature of its narrow policy remit. The National Trading Standards Conversation hopes to ensure a strong voice in future policy discussions. 

 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. 

Members of the Independent Challenge Panel:


  • Lord Michael Heseltine, Chair of the Panel.
  • Lord Toby Harris, NTSB Chairman
  • Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of TSI
  • Graham Russell, Chief Executive of the Better Regulation Development Office
  • Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of Local Government Association
  • Mike O'Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Futures
  • Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice
  • Stephen Hagan, spokesperson for Development , Economyand Sustainability at the Convention of Scottish LocalAuthorities (COSLA)
  • John Barnes, Head of the Local Authority Audit and Liaison Division at the Food Standards Agency
  • Laura Jamieson, assistant to Stephan Hagan
  • Andy Foster, Director of Operations and Policy at TSI
  • Suzanne Kuyser, Service Director of Communications and Policy  at TSI
  • Melissa Dring, Graduate Intern at TSI


 DATE: 9 July 2013