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Trading Standards Service Plan 2023 to 2024

3.0 Service Priorities

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.

In striving to meet this aim, the Trading Standards Service undertakes a number of activities including:

  • pro-active, intelligence led market surveillance work to ensure legal requirements are met and consumers can shop with confidence. This includes sampling and testing of goods and carrying out business inspections to identify problems before they cause harm
  • advice and support services for businesses to ensure that they can get things right at an early stage and meet their legal obligations. This includes the testing and certification of weighing and measuring equipment and providing tailored business advice
  • providing specialist advice and information to consumers to enable them to make sound, safe and well-informed choices and to help with problems concerning the supply of faulty and misdescribed goods and services
  • responding to complaints from local consumers and businesses and investigating breaches of consumer protection legislation to help prevent harmful and hazardous business practices, prevent detriment to consumers and reputable business and to ensure public safety
  • working in partnership with a number of different organisations and bodies such as other Council services, the Police, the North East Regional Investigations Team and the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, to underpin all of the above activities and to develop and improve service delivery

To help achieve its aim, the service has identified five key service priorities:

  1. ensuring a safe, fair and competitive trading environment.
  2. supporting reputable businesses.
  3. contributing to public health and wellbeing.
  4. protecting the vulnerable.
  5. providing an effective and efficient service.

Each priority has a number of actions and activities identified for the period of this Plan. These are set out in more detail in Section 10 and at Appendix 1.