Trading Standards Institute’s President speaks out for consumers
The Trading Standards Institute’s President, Baroness Crawley, spoke about how consumers must not be left less safe and more vulnerable because of changes in responsibilities through the Public Bodies Bill.
At the second reading of the Bill, which took place at the House of Lords on Tuesday 9 November, Baroness Crawley reiterated the importance of the service trading standards provide following an announcement from Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Please find her full statement below:
“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.”