Thursday, 19 January 2017

Government launches 'red tape' review into councils

The government has today launched a review into “unnecessary regulatory barriers” placed on businesses by local authorities.

The Cutting Red Tape review of Local Authorities will be led by the Cabinet Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

It will look at planning and building control, housing regulations and health and safety, including how inspections and visits are conducted, how data is requested and how accountable and responsive local authorities are to business needs.

A separate government review is already underway into how regulations affect house builders, including roads and infrastructure rules for housing developments, environmental requirements and rules affecting utilities. The government said “ineffective rules and heavy-handed enforcement” are stopping house builders developing “the homes that Britain needs”.

Regarding the latest review announced today, the government said it wants to “identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to growth and associated costs placed on businesses by local authorities”, while ensuring necessary protections are maintained.

It will gather evidence of areas where regulation “imposes unnecessary or avoidable burdens and costs on local government”.

The review is seeking views from businesses, trade associations and local authorities. The scope of the review will not include fees and charges.

It will build on the existing review of Trading Standards and present its findings and the government responses alongside this review’s findings.

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