Plans put forward to create a stronger regional Trading Standards service

The first steps towards creating a stronger and more resilient trading standards service to cover Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth have been given the green light.

The proposal for Plymouth City Council’s Trading Standards to merge with the Devon, Somerset and Torbay Service were approved by Devon County Council’s Cabinet this week. (Wednesday 9 September).

The plans will now go before Plymouth’s Cabinet on Tuesday 15 September.

If agreed by all four authorities the newly expanded service would cover the entirety of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area, creating a consistent approach for businesses across the region from April 2021.

Councillor Sally Haydon Cabinet Member for Customer Focus and Community Safety said: “At a time when we are facing significant financial pressures, increasing demands as well as dealing with the uncertainty that Brexit will bring these proposals would give all four councils ‘greater clout’

“The larger single service would provide an increased capacity for tackling major investigations, greater resilience in dealing with emergencies and allow for wider specialisations in the support and advice it can offer businesses.”

The joint service will retain its offices in Plymouth as well as having offices in Devon, Somerset and Torbay. It is not anticipated that any staff will have to relocate, and no redundancies are proposed as a direct result of this merger.

Councillor Haydon added: “I’d like to reassure Plymouth residents and businesses that we will continue to provide the excellent service they are used to receiving from our Trading Standards team. At a time when the service is facing increased pressures, particularly with the demands around Coronavirus, we anticipate that a larger joint service will be better able to meet the considerable challenges that lie ahead.”

The proposals now need to be considered and approved by Somerset and Torbay’s cabinets and then the Full Councils of some of the authorities before the decision is formally approved.