Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service has been nationally recognised by Government as the best Service of its kind in the UK for its support of local businesses.

The service was awarded the Regulatory Excellence Business Support Award by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy at an event in London on Wednesday 20 June.

The event showcased the support local authorities across the UK give local traders by ensuring that they don’t fall foul of regulations and have the support they need to grow, prosper and to create jobs.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service works closely with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and has a growing reputation as a centre of excellence for business support.

It is a key member of the Better Business for All initiative (BBfA), a LEP-supported initiative by Government aimed at improving the way local regulation is delivered and received.

Working towards a “no wrong door” principle for business contacts, the service has made the transition from business regulator to business support.

This is highlighted through initiatives such as BBfA, and the operation of the Buy With Confidence scheme, the local and national approved trader scheme.

Another example is the significant increase in the number of businesses contracting the service to provide ongoing advice and support on specific areas of regulation applicable to that business (Primary Authority Partnerships.)

This support provided has been further improved following the integration of local economic development professionals into the service. The resulting skills mix offers businesses a wider, more holistic range of support.

At the same time, the service not lost sight of its consumer protection role and retains a strong investigative capacity to deal with serious criminality or major breaches of legislation.

Paul Thomas, the Head of Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards said: “I’m delighted that the service has been recognised for its work. We have built excellent working relationships across the region with colleagues both in local authorities and in the business community.

"We put businesses at the centre of our service and the team has made a real impact by improving the way regulation is delivered, received and by changing the way that regulators are viewed.”

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