Memorandum submitted by the Local Better
IN RESPONSE TO THE INQUIRYGETTING
RESULTS: THE BETTER REGULATION EXECUTIVE AND THE IMPACT OF THE
REGULATORY REFORM AGENDA
The Local Better Regulation Office welcomes
the opportunity to respond to the Regulatory Reform Committee's
inquiry "Getting Results: The Better Regulation Executive
and the impact of the Regulatory Reform agenda". This memorandum
is being submitted to assist the Committee in their inquiry following
the evidence session on 20 May.
Better local regulation is critical to the wider
regulatory reform agenda. It is also critical to achieving the
aspirations of communities throughout the UK to tackle community
disorder, reduce under-age drinking, improve the environment and
combat climate change, and many of the other "wicked"
issues. These are the issues which confront councils and their
communities and which call for concerted action by a range of
partners and using a range of powers and instruments, includingin
a significant waylocal authority regulatory services.
LBRO has been set up by the Better Regulation
Executive in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform to drive the wider regulatory reform agenda at local level
and to support and incentivise improvement in local authority
regulatory services (trading standards, environmental health,
licensing and fire safety). LBRO's mission is to secure the more
effective performance of these services in accordance with the
principles of better regulationenabling councils to strengthen
both prosperity and protection at the local level.
LBRO will help reduce the burden on businesses,
and also improve the system of local regulation by providing clearer
guidance about priorities, and by identifying and spreading best
practice. It will also manage the primary authority scheme that
will ensure greater consistency for businesses operating across
We recognise that the local regulatory system
as a whole needs to change if it is to deliver these aspirations.
Change will be needed in the approach of all stakeholdersincluding
the national regulators and policy departmentsin working
together to provide a more coherent and consistent framework for
risk, competence, performance management, data capture and impact
Our experience shows that there is both much
good practice and huge potential within local authority regulatory
services to support better local regulation. Yet it is only through
working together that this potential can be realised. We are wholeheartedly
committed to encouraging and driving change through collaboration
and support with partners across the local regulatory landscape.
The LBRO was established as a government owned
company on 4 May 2007 and commenced business on 1 September 2007.
The budget during the financial year 2007-08 was £2.029 million
and will be £4.4 million in 2008-09. LBRO is accountable
to the Secretary of State through the sponsor, the Better Regulation
Executive within the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform (BERR). LBRO will operate as an executive non-departmental
public body (NDPB), in accordance with a management statement
and financial memorandum agreed with the sponsor department.
LBRO is led by a nine-member board that brings
extensive experience in local government, business, consumer issues,
national regulation and advocacy. There are eight non-executive
board members (including the Chair), and one ex-officio member
(the Chief Executive). There are currently 25 staff members in
the LBRO, led by the senior management team.
LBRO's principal focus is on helping local regulation
deliver economic prosperity and community wellbeing. Our statutory
mission is to secure the more effective performance of local authority
regulatory services in accordance with the principles of good
regulation, which means working in a way that does not give rise
to unnecessary burdens and ensures that that regulatory activities
The principles of good regulation are not a
new concept, and already underpin the work of the Better Regulation
Executive in its remit to reduce administrative burdens on businesses
and the third sector. However, initial assessment suggests that
awareness of these principles within local authority regulatory
services is relatively low. It will be an important element of
LBRO activity to raise awareness and understanding of the principles
and of LBRO's role in improving local authority adoption of the
principles of good regulation.
LBRO activity in 2008-11 will focus around three
strategic objectives. It will:
Support service improvement and change
in local authority regulatory services.
Directly deliver consistency, principally
through the primary authority scheme.
Act to improve the local authority
regulatory services system more generally.
In addition, LBRO will progress work to build
the foundations of an excellent organisation, including:
creating contemporary and fit for
purpose governance arrangements;
focusing on a clear strategic direction,
including revising our strategy to reflect changes in the regulatory
developing our capability through
investing in developing our people; and
developing an evidence base on the
challenges for local regulation.
The diagram below illustrates the role and functions
of LBRO and their relationship to the wider system within which
Copyright 2008 Local Better Regulation Office
FIGURE 1: THE
The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill
that would establish LBRO as a non-departmental public body with
statutory powers has not yet completed the parliamentary process.
LBRO cannot pre-empt the decision of Parliament regarding the
scale, scope and powers it should have, and so naturally, we await
the enactment of the Bill to inform our action around functions
and key deliverables.
Subject to the passage of the Bill, LBRO will
be legally responsible for:
Providing guidance to local authorities
on regulatory services:
Providing useable and practical guidance to local
authorities is central to LBRO's programme of activity over the
next three years, supporting local authority regulatory services
to understand the principles of good regulation and drive towards
that standard. LBRO will issue statutory guidance to local regulatory
services, where appropriate, including to accompany legislative
changes, such as the introduction of the Primary Authority scheme.
This will assist local authorities by supporting their awareness,
understanding and consistency of interpretation of legislation.
Advising ministers about local regulatory
LBRO will be empowered to advise and make proposals
to ministers about the law they set for local authorities to enforce.
We expect this to include advice on those areas which are proving
excessively burdensome for local authorities in practice including,
the use of the newly agreed national performance indicator which
seeks the views of the business community on the issues raised
by local regulation.
Investing in projects to improve
LBRO's role in the provision of guidance is closely
connected to the proposed statutory function for LBRO to incentivise
and facilitate the identification, development and dissemination
of innovation and good practice through programme funding, ensuring
local authorities are supported to drive towards better local
Updating the list of national enforcement
The publication of the Rogers Review in March
2007 was an important milestone: the first time central government
had provided clarity on national priorities for local regulatory
enforcement. The Bill proposes that LBRO will take on the role
of refreshing the national enforcement priorities and preparing
a first set of national priorities in Wales. To prepare for this
responsibility, LBRO is undertaking an innovative project with
a small number of local authorities to explore approaches taken
to prioritisation. It will look at the identification, selection
and use of local and national enforcement priorities in setting
service delivery plans. The results will be published to assist
all local authorities in using local, national and community priorities
to secure effective service delivery.
Setting up and running the Primary
Primary Authority is the focus of LBRO's work
to reduce inconsistency and consequent burdens on business. Increased
consistency of legislative interpretation and provision of accessible
and specialist advice to business provides confidence and a level
commercial playing field. It reduces burdens through clear and
consistent interactions with local authority regulatory services.
Signing memoranda of understanding
with five national regulators:
LBRO will sign memoranda with the Food Standards
Agency, Office of Fair Trading, Health and Safety Executive, Environmental
Agency and the Gambling Commission. The challenging nature of
our mission, and the complexity of the local regulatory landscape,
demands strong collaboration and a partnership approach to identifying
challenges, developing solutions and delivering change. In recognition
of this, the Bill proposes that LBRO establish a series of memoranda
of understanding with key stakeholders setting out how we will
Working in partnership
Although LBRO is a small organisation, it will
have significant powers and influence and it will not operate
alone. It will work with a wide range of partner organisations.
A diagrammatic representation of the local regulatory environment
is at figure 2.
Among these partners are:
Professional bodies, such as the
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Trading Standards
National regulators, such as the
Food Standards Agency, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office
of Fair Trading, the Gambling Commission and the Environment Agency.
Local authorities and their representative
bodies, such as the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory
Central government departments, such
as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
(BERR), Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Department
for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Weights
and Measures Laboratory.
LBRO will also work closely with bodies representing
businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom.
Copyright 2007 Local Better Regulation Office
FIGURE 2: THE
Four stakeholders groups will be affected by
and benefit from LBRO's work:
Businesses which will receive consistent
interpretation and enforcement of legislation in all parts of
the country. Burdens on compliant businesses will be reduced through
fewer unnecessary inspections, while access to advice about regulatory
issues is improved.
Consumers which will be appropriately
protected from rogue businesses and receive consistent and robust
protection across the country.
National regulators and policy departments
which will provide more consistent messages to local authorities,
allowing authorities to focus resources in a way that meets local
and national needs.
Local authority regulatory services
which will understand the principles of good regulation and be
able to assess against that standard represented by those principles,
and will drive towards that standard and local authority regulatory
services will understand the business environment and work together
with business to achieve better local regulation.
As a key beneficiary of LBRO's outputs, LBRO's
relationships with business and business representative organisations
will be crucial. Local authority regulatory services' understanding
of business drivers and needs is vital and one of LBRO's challenges
will be embedding business awareness within local authority regulatory
Some have expressed a view that the benefits
that LBRO delivers will be felt primarily by larger, multi-site
businesses. In our assessment, benefits will be experienced by
businesses of all size and sector.
Benefits for single site businesses
It is important to recognise that many businesses
that trade across local authority boundaries operate from a single
site, for example many small and medium sized businesses engaged
in manufacturing. Whilst these companies do not encounter inconsistency
in the inspection of their premises, they can encounter inconsistency
in how their products or services are viewed nationally.
For this reason the Primary Authority scheme
is very relevant and can assist these businesses through:
The guarantee of specialist regulatory
advice charged at cost in respect of new products or services.
Removal of the need to enter into
further technical debate with other local regulators where advice
has been given by the Primary Authority.
The opportunity to channel all interactions
with local authorities regarding products or services through
a single Primary Authority.
Better co-ordination of national
product recalls via a single local authority that is expert in
Benefits for small and medium sized business
Small and medium sized businesses are unlikely
to employ specialist regulatory compliance staff, and are not
therefore well equipped to enter into technical argument around
regulatory issues. In the same way these companies are less well
equipped to fight protracted legal action, for example the defence
The benefits for single site businesses are:
The guarantee of specialist regulatory
advice charged at cost.
Removal of the need to enter into
further technical debate with other local regulators where advice
has been given by the Primary Authority.
Inspection plans to help direct the
business to regulatory compliance priorities across multiple sites.
An administratively efficient penalties
regime that minimises court action.
Benefits for multi-site businesses
Large multi-site companies often face high volumes
of requests for the same information, coupled with high volumes
of interactions over low level matters which can be prone to inconsistency
in local interpretation. These companies typically employ a team
of regulatory compliance experts, as well as relying heavily upon
external regulatory compliance consultants. For this reason they
have very little need for "advice". What these companies
do need is the opportunity to negotiate and reach agreement upon
compliance matters at a single point in the local regulatory system.
For such companies the benefits will be:
A Primary Authority that can give
"approval" to a compliance approach, thus providing
national certainty from a single point in the local regulatory
An agreed national inspection plan
developed in consultation with the company that targets inspection
resource only at those issues that are of merit.
The opportunity to share commonly
requested documents with all local regulators via the primary
authority IT system.
The opportunity to develop national
systems for interaction with local regulators. For example, the
use of inspection plans to agree complaints handling protocols.
A single point of contact within
the local regulatory system with the resources and expertise to
support the company effectively.
Business has been responsive to and broadly
supportive of the establishment and objectives of LBRO:
"LBRO's brief is to improve the efficiency
and effectiveness with which regulations are enforced...we of
course recognise that there is a place for good and appropriate
rules. So ensuring these are applied as intelligently as possible
is important." Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
"The British Retail Consortium has been
an enthusiastic supporter of LBRO and its proposed role throughout
its development over several years." British Retail Consortium
"We see the introduction of LBRO as a key
element in ensuring that progress is made in improving regulation
through better working practices within local authorities."
"The advisory role is highly important in
ensuring a more joined-up understanding between a policy's development
and its subsequent implementation." Institute of Directors
With the Primary Authority scheme being an intended
statutory function of LBRO, it will become even more important
that business needs are understood. The Primary Authority principle
is a key part of LBRO's objective to directly deliver consistency.
Businesses will be the key beneficiary of the scheme and support
it. For example:
"The lack of certainty and the inconsistency
of approach between authorities genuinely represents a substantial
barrier to economic growth." John Lewis Partnership
LBRO has established positive and strong relationships
across a range of organisations and individuals through intensive
stakeholder engagement, which has helped raise awareness and increase
understanding of the role and purpose of LBRO. This includes with
a full range of businesses sizes and sectors ranging from manufacturing,
retail and national multi-site companies.
In addition, LBRO has engaged with the regional organisational
aimed at driving economic development such as Government Office
English Regions Economy Teams.
In 2005, Sir Philip Hampton was commissioned
by the Government to review the regulatory system in the UK. His
2005 report highlighted that the present complex approach to local
authority regulation allowed wide variations and inconsistencies
and that the system as a whole was uncoordinated:
"There is no central forum for government
or local authorities to set priorities or resolve disputing regulation.
No single government body is responsible for information to local
government. The local government representative bodies, and local
authorities themselves, identified this to the review as a major
problem... The review does not believe that the present approach
to local authority regulation, in allowing such wide variations
and inconsistencies in the application of national standards,
is delivering what the regulations governing it require."
The establishment of the LBRO largely originates
with the Hampton Review, which recommended the creation of a dedicated
statutory body to deal with some of the issues associated with
the enforcement of regulations by local authorities.
Hampton noted that local authority enforcers
sit at the centre of a system that has grown up over decades,
within a framework involving multiple government departments,
initiatives and regulators. He found that this is a complex system,
with adverse implications for businesses and local authorities
alike. He noted in particular that businesses encounter difficulties
where they are required to deal with slightly different interpretations
of the law in different local authority areas across the country;
and highlighted problems for local authority enforcers where they
are required to deal with a number of different government departments
and national regulators.
Several other sources of evidence exist which
come to similar conclusions. These include:
The Chartered Institute of Public
Finance and Accountancy who collect and analyse operational and
financial data for Fire and Rescue Service, Environmental Health
and Trading Standards.
The Audit Commission's report on
trading standards services within England and Wales "Measure
for measure: the best value agenda for trading standards services".
The Accounts Commission "Made
to measure? An overview of trading standards services in Scotland".
The Office of Fair Trading's report
"Developments in Local Authority Trading Standards Services".
LACORS and Tavistock Institute research
paper that sets out the features, drivers and barriers to improvement
in local authority regulatory services "Tributaries not chains:
a policy position paper for LACORS".
The analysis of the evidence suggests four distinct
Problems created by inconsistency,
including inconsistency of interpretation, enforcement and resource
allocation and variation over time.
The need for local authority regulatory
services to be more outcome-focused.
Structural barriers to change within
Difficulties caused by a lack of
co-ordinated signals and messages to local authorities from national
bodies, including central policy departments and national regulators.
The local regulatory system needs to provide
consistency and allow local needs to be prioritised. There is
potential tension between these two aims. There are circumstances
in which it is reasonable for business to accept local variation,
provided that this is carried out in a transparent way. For example,
a business might expect higher levels of enforcement of restrictions
on sales of alcohol in areas where alcohol-related antisocial
behaviour is a significant local priority.
LBRO is committed to being an evidence-based
organisation. We will develop mechanisms to collect, analyse and
evaluate evidence, including carrying out a national survey of
business and consumer satisfaction with local authority regulatory
services. A key part of our policy development work in the forthcoming
year will be to build an evidence base on the challenges facing
local authority regulatory services, including establishing the
extent, scale and scope of the problems faced.
LBRO AND THE
It is LBRO's role to ensure that local regulatory
activity contributes to outcomes that make a difference to local
communities and individuals, most notably supporting improved
economic prosperity and community well-being. This should create
the conditions to allow compliant, well-run businesses to flourish
and provide for the protection of consumers, workers and the environment.
Since autumn 2007, LBRO has been working in
partnership with the department for Communities and Local Government
and the local government family, including LACORS, to achieve
our mission. LBRO and LACORS agreed a joint statement of collaborative
working in February 2008, a copy of which is attached at Annex
A. A comparative analysis of the two organisations is provided
at Annex B. We recognise the significant work undertaken by LACORS,
IDeA and the Local Government Leadership Centre to support the
local authority improvement journey and want to explore ways we
can work together, for example with leadership development and
identifying and disseminating best practice. We are sponsoring
the Beacons Scheme award for "Cutting Red Tape" along
with key local regulation partners, and with LACORS, we are raising
awareness and understanding of elected members of the impact and
contribution of local authority regulatory services.
All local authority chief officers and leaders
and all the local government bodies across the UK were consulted
on the LBRO draft strategy. We are committed to ensuring that
LBRO programmes and projects are consistent with and supportive
of the Central-Local Concordat and the local government performance
and improvement frameworks.
In a number of ways LBRO aims to add value and
realise clear demonstrable benefits for local authorities, including:
Developing and publishing evidence
to demonstrate the value and impact of local authority regulatory
services on economic prosperity and community wellbeing.
Working with local authorities, their
partner agencies and the wider local government family through
pilot work and action research.
Providing evidence based information,
case studies and guides to support the dissemination and embedding
of good practice and innovative approaches.
Working with national bodies and
other partner organisations to address systemic issues that impact
on local authorities' ability to deliver excellence.
The mission of LBRO is to secure the effective
delivery of local authority regulatory services in a way which
does not give rise to unnecessary regulatory burdens; and conforms
to the principles of good regulation. Our statutory functions
have been designed to support this.
To achieve this, LBRO will support improvement
in local authority regulatory services and improve the regulatory
system in which they operate.
One of the LBRO strategic objectives is to support
sector-led service improvement in local authorities, which is
aligned to the messages of the National Improvement and Efficiency
Strategy (NIES). Work in this area includes exchange programmes
to improve the relationship between businesses and local regulators,
recognising the role local regulators play in improving economic
Our approach to local authority improvement
will be to support the improvement journey of individual local
authorities through the promotion of self-assessment and the development
of practical tools to do the job. We will also identify and disseminate
best practice and provide evidence-based advice to central government
on better regulation issues impacting on local authorities. This
approach will be firmly rooted in collaborative delivery. While
it will be necessary to consider the performance of local authority
regulatory services and seek demonstrable improvement in accordance
with the principles of better regulation, LBRO will not itself
assess performance and will work with department for Communities
and Local Government and the Audit Commission within the national
performance framework. This role for LBRO in providing support
to local authorities and their work on the local economy is included
in the recently published the department for Communities and Local
Government and the Local Government Association NIES prospectus.
See Annex C for more detail.
LBRO is also seeking to drive improvement in
the regulatory system, and changing the conditions outside the
control of local authorities that impact on their ability to deliver
excellence. The feedback we have received from local authorities
through attending events and through consultation on our draft
strategy have emphasised the problems of mixed messages from national
regulators and other central bodies. One of our key programmes
of work will be to focus on the journey towards a "world-class"
local regulatory services system. We have brought together a coalition
of partner organisations from across the system, including the
national regulators, the professional bodies and national local
government bodies, to consider the elements of an excellence standard
and appropriate methods of assessment. LBRO will facilitate the
coalition and the work of the project not only to agree a common
standard but also to agree common frameworks which clarify and
simplify the system as a whole. These common frameworks will cover:
risk assessment, competency, sharing intelligence, impact and
outcomes, and priority setting.
LBRO has identified an ambitious programme of
delivery for the next three years, designed to address both complex
issues within local regulation and meet the high expectations
of LBRO from stakeholders and partners. We are working in a challenging
and complicated environment, but already clear early successes
are emerging. Work is progressing well on programme delivery and
stakeholder relations, winning the confidence and trust of key
players. These early signs provide an indication of the likely
long term impact of LBRO; its ability to drive cultural change
and improvement in local regulatory services and demonstrate the
impact of these services on key high level outcomes.
Highlights include: awarding regional co-ordination
funding for trading standards services, a positive example of
LBRO bringing together a coalition of OFT/ BERR/ LBRO to build
capacity providing essential clarity in a crowded landscape; commissioning
a national survey of business and consumer satisfaction with local
authority regulatory services to provide a baseline for measuring
our impact, the improvement in regulatory services and allowing
comparison with results from both the NAO survey and national
indicator 182; publishing a "guide" for regulatory services
on the national performance framework for an early focus on the
identification of best practice relating to tackling alcohol misuse
and associated crime and disorder in response to the findings
of the Licensing Act Review; testing the Hampton Implementation
Review methodology and Macrory compliance test processes with
a local authority and publishing a guide to the Compliance Code,
supporting local authority adoption of the Code and better regulation
behaviour, and clarifying its relationship to the Enforcement
JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN LACORS AND LBRO
LBRO/04/078 6 March 2008
Two influential organisations today pledged
to work together for better council regulatory services.
New improvement body the Local Better Regulation
Office (LBRO) and the long-established the Local Authorities Co-ordinators
Of Regulatory Services (LACORS) have issued a joint statement
outlining their plans to co-operate.
In the statement the two bodies say they will:
Collaborate to ensure that council
regulatory services are in the best possible position to protect
consumers, workers and the environment and reduce unnecessary
burdens on business.
Work together to build a `world class'
system of local authority regulatory services.
LACORS chief executive Derek Allen said:
"LACORS has an established reputation in
providing quality advice and guidance to councils and promoting
best practice. It champions the important local role of council
regulatory services, provides leadership on behalf of local government
sector and promotes local authority excellence. The organisation
is the national representative body for council regulatory services
and has demonstrated its important role in ensuring that local
council regulatory services meet the needs and balance the expectations
of local people and local businesses."
LBRO chief executive Graham Russell said:
"LBRO will take full advantage of its unique
statutory role to work with LACORS, the local authorities and
our other key partners to ensure that there is a prosperous future
for businesses throughout the United Kingdom and the communities
they serve. By working together we will be more effective in helping
local authorities protect consumers, workers and the environment
from rogue traders and support legitimate businesses."
"LBRO and LACORS have a shared interest
in the improvement of local authority regulatory services and
the wider landscape in which they operate. Both organisations
recognise that it will be essential to work in partnership to
achieve maximum mutual benefit and added value across the sector."
"LACORS was formed 30 years ago by local
government to support councils in their delivery of a consistent
and effective trading standards service. Over the years its support
has been extended and now includes many of the operations associated
with councils' environmental health services."
"The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO)
is a new independent organisation created by the Better Regulation
Executive to drive the wider regulatory reform agenda at local
level and to stimulate, support and incentivise improvement. Its
mission is to secure the more effective performance of local authority
regulatory services in accordance with better regulation principles.
Subject to the passage of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions
Bill through Parliament, LBRO will have statutory power to give
guidance to local authorities in order to achieve this overall
"Working together, LACORS and LBRO can share
a wealth of experience and expertise, which can be supported by
LBRO programme funding. We will benefit from mutually reinforcing
roleslobbying on behalf of local authorities in the case
of LACORS, and offering evidence-based advice to government in
the case of LBRO."
"LBRO recognises that LACORS is a key stakeholder
and delivery partner in driving improvement. Working closely with
the local government associations (LGA, WLGA, COSLA and NILGA)
and the Improvement and Development Agency for local government
(IDeA), LACORS is ideally placed to support the better regulation
agenda across local government, not least in raising awareness
and understanding of the role of regulatory services with local
"LBRO has a specific brief to reduce the
regulatory burdens upon business, while maintaining current high
levels of public and environmental protection. In this regard
the LBRO will work with all the stakeholders across the regulatory
landscape that impact upon regulation at local level. This will
include the national regulators, government departments, professional
bodies, business and consumers. LBRO will take an evidence-based
approach to improvement across this wider landscape in which local
authority regulatory services work and will work with all stakeholders
to achieve coherence and consistency of approach and outcome."
"LBRO will also have a statutory duty to
review the national enforcement priorities for local authority
regulatory services and will work with them to align national
priorities to local priorities of wellbeing and economic regeneration,
recognising the importance of preserving local discretion within
the context of local area agreements. Working together, LBRO and
LACORS will be best placed to ensure consistency and transparency
in the regulation of business across the country while maintaining
"The two organisations will develop collaborative
projects and have already agreed to work together in a coalition
with other partners to explore the issues which will lead to a
`world-class' local authority regulatory services system. A joint
conference is being planned for summer 2008 and a number of joint
publications are being discussed. Both organisations are sponsoring
the `Tackling Climate Change' theme in round nine of the Beacon
COMPARISON OF LACORS AND LBRO
LBRO and LACORS have a shared interest in the
improvement of local authority regulatory services and the wider
landscape in which they operate. Both organisations recognise
that it will be essential to work in partnership to achieve maximum
mutual benefit and added value across the sector. There are differences
between LBRO and LACORS. LBRO is an independent body, whilst LACORS
is a representative body. In addition, LBRO has a necessarily
focus on business and the relationship between business and local
regulators, whereas LACORS is focused on local authorities and
the wider local government family.
|Vision||To improve economic prosperity and community wellbeing
||To be an exemplar local government organisation, leading on policy development, driving improvement and adding value to regulatory services
|Mission||To secure the more effective performance of local authority regulatory services in accordance with the principles of better regulation
||To enhance local government's reputation by informing policy development as well as guiding, supporting and improving the delivery, coordination and consistency of council regulatory services
|Status||Non-departmental public body
||Local government central body|
|Created by||Statute||UK local authority associations (LGA, WLGA, COSLA, NILGA)
|Source of funding||Central Government (BERR)
||UK local authority Associations (Monies "top sliced" from revenue support grant in England and Wales)
|Constitution||Nine member Board, various backgrounds
||Board of Directors, comprising senior elected members nominated by the UK LA Associations
|Values||Outcome-focused, evidence based, creative, challenging & supportive
|| To focus primarily on the needs of council regulatory services and the wider local government family;|
To work professionally with external stakeholders;
To operate as a socially and politically responsible body driven by the needs of local government rather than other interests;
To provide a friendly and positive working environment;
To encourage, support and develop staff;
To be an equal opportunities employer
|Key functions (LBRO) / Key aims and objectives (LACORS)
|| To operate the Primary Authority scheme, including the provision of a determination service to resolve disputes, whereby nominated "primary" authorities will provide advice to businesses that operate across council boundaries and agree inspection plans to guide other local authorities in their interaction with the business, thereby improving consistency;|
To provide advice to central government on enforcement and regulatory issues associated with local government;
To issue statutory guidance to local authorities in respect of regulatory services;
To review and revise the list of national enforcement priorities;
To use programme funding to achieve strategic outcomes, in particular to facilitate identification, description and dissemination of innovation and good practice;
To develop formal partnerships (memoranda of understanding) with national regulators.
| To work with, and on behalf of, the UK local authority associations and serve their best interests on regulatory and related services;|
To drive improvement and raise the profile of regulatory services;
To support and promote the important role and contribution of these services in improving community well being;
To provide authorities with advice and guidance and assist in the development and dissemination of good practice;
To support and promote effective coordination, consistency and cooperation between local authorities;
To develop effective partnership working with key stakeholder organisation particularly government;
To advise local authorities, their associations, central government departments and its agencies and the European Union on effective policy, legislation and enforcement; and
To develop collaborative arrangements with local government and relevant European enforcement networks
In January 2008, the political leadership of the LGA agreed
to carry out a rapid review of the long-term business strategy
and commissioning arrangements for the local government family,
Local Government Association (LGA).
Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).
Public Private Partnerships Programme (4ps).
Local Government Employers (LGE).
The review began in March and reported in June 2008, the
recommendations will be put to the LGA executive. The review is
intended to ensure that LGA and the above central bodies are fit
for future purpose, using an approach of both internal and external
challenge. It is anticipated that some changes will be implemented
from April 2009. It is possible that the outcome could be an integrated
central body, funded by a levy with the existing central bodies
and the leadership centre merged into an integrated company.
NATIONAL IMPROVEMENT AND EFFICIENCY STRATEGY
The first National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy (NIES)
was published in December 2007 and agreed between central and
local government (signed by John Healey and David Shakespeare,
as Chair of the Local Government Association's Improvement Board).
The strategy focuses on delivering improvement in local authorities
in the context of significant environmental, economic and social
challenges, rising public expectations and slowed growth in public
spending. Within the "Prospectus 2008: the guide to improvement
and efficiency support", which was developed by alongside
the strategy, LBRO is referred to under the local economy theme
as a source of support:
Local Better Regulation Office
The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) has been set up
by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
(BERR) to drive the wider regulatory reform agenda at local level,
and to stimulate, support and incentivise improvement. LBRO working
closely with LACORS will offer local authorities access to best
practice in local authority regulatory services and provide opportunities
for sharing advice and guidance, and working directly with local
authorities on pilot and project work. The two bodies will:
collaborate to ensure that council regulatory
services are in the best possible position to protect consumers,
workers and the environment and reduce unnecessary burdens on
work together to build a "world class"
system of local authority regulatory services and work together
for better council regulatory services.
Source:CLG/ LGA: Prospectus 2008: the guide to improvement
and efficiency support, March 2008
LACORS, as part of the local government family, are referred
to as "enablers":
Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)
Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services provides
key advice, guidance and best practice to council regulatory services
practitioners, to ensure the delivery of consistent, proportionate,
fair and transparent, and joined up regulatory services in supporting
local economies and protecting their communities.
Source: CLG/ LGA: Prospectus 2008: the guide to improvement
and efficiency support, March 2008
Representative organisations that LBRO has engaged with include
Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses,
the Institute of Directors, Forum for Private Business, British
Chambers of Commerce and individual Chambers. Back
Philip Hampton/ HM Treasury, "Reducing administrative burdens:
effective inspection and enforcement" March 2005, http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/7/F/bud05hamptonv1.pdf
pages 71-75 Back
Registration is required to access the materials from the CIPFA
website http://www.cipfastats.net/profiles.asp Back
Audit Commission, 1999 available at http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/reports/NATIONAL-REPORT.asp?Category
"Measure for measure: the best value agenda for trading standards
services", The Accounts Commission http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/docs/local/2002/nr_021003_trading_standards.pdf Back
Developments in Local Authority Trading Standards Services Report
of the OFT-TSS 2006 Survey Volume 1: Statistics available from
LACORS website http://www.lacors.gov.uk/ Back
Tavistock Institute and LACORS, November 2006 http://www.lacors.gov.uk/lacors/ContentDetails.aspx?id=15020 Back
"Prospectus 2008: the guide to improvement and efficiency
support" http://www.eera.gov.uk/Documents/About%20EERA/RIEP/National%20I%20and%20E%20Prospectus.pdf Back