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Trading Standards Service Plan 2023 to 2024

10.0 Key Priority Areas

The service planning process helps to identify the key areas of work that support national, regional and local objectives and priorities. For 2023 to 2024, five key service priorities have been identified. Related project work and targets against these key priorities are detailed at Appendix 1.

The key service priorities are:

1. Ensuring a safe, fair and competitive trading environment

The service aims to combat those traders who operate illegally, putting consumers at risk and placing reputable businesses at a trading disadvantage. To do this, the effective use of all available intelligence and related information will continue to play an essential role in highlighting emerging issues and targeting resources at the areas that will have the greatest impact.

2. Supporting reputable businesses

The majority of businesses want to comply with the law and the aim of the service is to provide support and advice which is accessible, clear and easy to understand, whilst at the same time cracking down on rogue traders who are looking to flout the law. This will help reputable businesses to flourish and will, in turn, help promote and sustain economic growth within the Borough.

3. Contributing to public health and wellbeing

The work of the service contributes to a healthy, safe and vibrant community. This can be evidenced in a number of areas, including the work carried out involving product safety, age restricted products, tobacco and alcohol controls, food labelling, allergens, composition and nutrition checks and animal feed hygiene controls.

4. Protecting the vulnerable

The service is committed to tackling rogue traders, especially those who target older or vulnerable residents in their own homes. This is often done through direct enforcement action, but in addition over 130 'No Cold Calling Zones' have been established around the Borough.

A partnership agreement has also been signed with the National Scams Team which will help officers in identifying, advising and educating those local vulnerable consumers who are being targeted by scam mail and other mass marketing scams.

5. Providing an effective and efficient service

The service continues to look at ways in which to develop, modernise and improve service provision. Given the financial challenges facing the Authority it is important that the Service is cost effective and offers value for money and gives priority to the areas that are most important to its residents, businesses and partners.