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Trading Standards Service Plan 2023 to 2024

1.0 Introduction

The Borough of Stockton-on-Tees covers an area of 20,393 hectares and is an area of contrasts, a mixture of busy town centres, urban residential areas and picturesque villages, whilst also maintaining a strong industrial presence. The population of almost 200,000, living in approximately 86,000 households, is increasing steadily, with a 2.8% rise recorded over the last seven years.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has a vital role to play in providing quality services to the people of the Borough. The Council is performing strongly and is committed to improving services for local people through strong leadership, effective partnerships and investment in priorities.

Operating effectively with a growing demand for services alongside continued budget restrictions, provides a real challenge for the Council. This has been exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic which has had a massive effect on how the Council operates and how it will continue to operate going forward.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has always been recognised as a customer-focused council that delivers value for money and makes effective use of its resources, through strong political and executive leadership, good governance and talented, committed employees. It is these attributes, alongside a planned approach to managing tight budget allocations, that has helped the Authority in protecting frontline services.

Within this setting the Trading Standards Service provides an important regulatory function, carrying out a range of duties aimed at protecting consumers and reputable businesses. This protection is provided in relation to virtually the full range of personal and household goods and services, from the purchase of daily necessities to the arrangement of a mortgage.

Through advice, education, enforcement and partnership working, the primary aim of the Trading Standards Service is to provide a fair and safe trading environment for the benefit of consumers and reputable businesses in Stockton-on-Tees.

The service planning process for Trading Standards is vital in ensuring that resources are allocated to priority areas, which meet the needs and wishes of local consumers and businesses. Taking steps to review, develop and modernise service provision underpin this process and help to identify possible service efficiencies.

Any feedback on this Plan, good or bad, is welcomed and can be made in writing to Trading Standards, 16 Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TX, by telephone on 01642 526560, or via e-mail at trading.standards@stockton.gov.uk.