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Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition 2015

Posted 29/06/15

Today (Monday 29 June) at the Bournemouth International Centre is the start of this year's leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe. Below is a selection of Conference highlights and press releases. Call the CTSI press office on 01268 582240 or email [email protected] for more information. Further press releases will be issued each day of Conference.

Monday 29 June: 

CTSI will launch a new safeguarding toolkit at the mini-theatre session, 'An introduction to Safeguarding in Trading Standards'. The toolkit has been designed and produced by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and will provide trading standards officers with the necessary information and guidance to deliver the best possible protection to consumers and ultimately make them more effective at protecting the vulnerable.

With England's Tobacco Control Plan due to expire at the end of 2015 and a new Government in place, the mini-theatre session by Action on Smoking Health will brief participants on the next steps for tobacco control. 

Tuesday 30 June: 

With Conference following hot on the heels of a general election, our opening plenary focuses on debating the national changes and issues in the consumer landscape resulting from the outcome. The discussion will include any signals from the new government on local government, the economy and their plans for the future, and the place of our own CTSI vision within this new landscape. Speakers include Melissa Dring CTSI Director of Policy, Pete Moorey Head of Campaigns at Which, Cllr Sophie Linden Deputy Mayor of Hackney and Andy Foster Director of Development and Regulatory Services at Capita. CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore will be facilitating.

An exhibition of the toy safety competition, Playsafe, will see toy designs from school children across the country on display in A16 Windsor Hall. The competition helps CTSI and the British Toy and Hobby Association (BHTA) teach children and future toy-designers the value of product safety. Roland Earl, Director General (BTHA) and a panel of judges will determine the winner from the displayed entries.

Now in its third year of operation, the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme will be explaining the progress since their launch in 2013 in a mini-theatre session.

Wednesday 1 July: 

The opening plenary will focus on how trading standards go on forward strategically. With the discussion led by Matt Allwright, who proved a engaging and enthusiastic facilitator at last year's conference, the panel will debate what makes for success. Speakers include Sharon Wright Entrepreneur, Nisha Arora Senior Director of Consumer Enforcement Competitions and Markets Authority, Reader in Public Sector Economics at the Institute of Local Government Studies at University of Birmingham Peter Watt, Steve Thomas CBE Chief Executive WLGA and Sara Barry Head of trading standards service and community safety in Lincolnshire. 

An intellectual property advisor to the Prime Minister has been nominated for a CTSI Hero Award for the significant contribution he made to consumer protecting during his role in Parliament. Also nominated is a trust link officer who helped catch a rogue trader trying to scam an elderly woman of £25,000.

Thursday 2 July:

BBC presenter Winifred Robinson will facilitate discussion on the consumer focused last day of conference.  The starting point will be partnership working that leads to better preventative interventions to improve individual health outcomes. Speakers for the 'Coming together to help 

the individual plenary' include Regulatory Practice Group at 6 Pump Court David Travers QC, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy CBE, Head of investigations and safeguarding North Yorkshire County Council Ruth Andrews and Manager of National trading standard scams team Louise Baxter.

Following the plenary is the CTSI Hero Awards, a consumer champion who has bravely campaigned against illicit cigarettes after her mother died from them failing to extinguish has been nominated amongst six other inspiring individuals.

New for this year's conference, a special consumer exhibition opens giving visitors an opportunity to meet with like minded companies and other consumer groups with focus workshops including scams and the vulnerable consumers, dispute resolution and general consumer interest.

The winners of the Create a Campaign will be revealed and awarded the £1,000 prize. Teams of young people aged 12-15 had the chance to get creative and come up with a campaign to combat illegal underage sales and help prevent the use of tobacco and alcohol products by children. 

CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: "It has been a tough few years for our profession. Austerity measures have seen unprecedented cuts, and the gap between central and local government grow. This has placed real strain on front line trading standards delivery. However, the future of our profession looks bright.

"This year's Conference sees us focusing on the key ingredients of a modern society: fairness, safety and health. The trading standards services are a necessity in providing for all three. I look forward to seeing the profession and its partners come together over these three days to set out a fresh direction for trading standards. It will be great to see members of the public and media being rewarded for their outstanding efforts to bolster consumer protection in their area."

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