Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service has been shortlisted for the 2020 LGC Awards in the ‘Best Service Delivery Model’ category.

The award recognises local authorities which have pioneered innovative ways of service delivery.

Now trading standards officers will head to London on 20 January to convince the panel why they should be considered the best - with the hope of being presented with the overall award in March.

When the joint service was first conceived in 2012 both Devon and Somerset’s trading standards services faced the prospect of trying to protect consumers and support businesses at a time of diminishing resources.

The solution was to commission a partnership to deliver the service across both counties.

This had the advantage of maximising scarce resources while delivering the savings that streamlining to one business unit could provide.

The model was so successful that in 2017 Torbay Council aligned their trading standards team with the joint service to make it a tri-county service.

A year later part of Devon County Council’s Economic Development team also merged with the service.

This led to closer working relationships with the economy teams in the other two authorities and streamlined the provision of not just regulatory support but also access to a wide range of general business support and grant programmes.

At the same time the Service has retained a strong consumer protection ethic with a separate Intelligence and Investigations Team to ensure that any traders engaged in deliberate criminal activity are not left unchallenged.

Rachael Holden, Group Manager for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said: “This year there has been a record number of entries so to be shortlisted is a remarkable achievement, and we’re delighted that our innovative joint service model has been recognised by the LGC’s prestigious panel of judges.

“The joint service model has simplified the support we can offer businesses, added value for stakeholders and created capacity within the service to achieve corporate objectives.”

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