Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, responds to a report by Which? calling for consumers’ rights enforcement systems to be overhauled.
“Local authority trading standards and environmental health teams continue to work hard to protect the public from doorstep and online scams, rogue traders and loan sharks.
“The answer to this problem is not to take funding, resources and expertise from councils to create new national bodies or to expand existing organisations, as these will lack the intelligence - and currently the powers - to take effective action at a local level against criminals.
“Instead, with the number of trading standards officers having more than halved since 2009 and budgets to this service having almost halved since 2011, government needs to use the forthcoming Spending Review to address the funding shortfall that local government faces.
“Government also needs to stop adding to the ever increasing enforcement burden being placed on councils’ regulatory services without providing councils with the resources to take action to maintain its vital but varied role protecting local residents.”