Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, which is operated jointly by both counties, was recognised by the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) for its partnership work with dozens of businesses to help them comply with regulations, thereby supporting their growth.
It was commended for “outstanding achievement” in leadership of “primary authority” – the scheme where businesses work with a single trading standards service whose advice on regulations applies across other areas and bodies.
The service has formed primary authority partnerships with a range of businesses and organisations, including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Shell, Esso, British Gas, Waitrose, Toyota and the Association of Convenience Stores.
Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “It’s fantastic news that our trading standards service has been recognised nationally for its work to reduce burdens on business, in turn helping to boost the economy. This well-deserved award is testament to the hard work of the team.
“Our partnership with Buckinghamshire has enabled us to strengthen our work in this area through sharing expertise and pooling resources. Not only are we helping businesses prosper, we’re also raising extra income for our councils to plough back into services for the benefit of residents.”
Michele Manson, the service’s Business Team Manager, said: “We’re enthusiastic about establishing links with businesses. Not only do we get a great sense of achievement from supporting them to understand regulatory compliance but as officers we learn something new from each of them.
“Exploring how businesses do things enables us to improve our service and ensures that advice and information is relevant to their needs. By actively engaging with the wider trading standards community, and not working in isolation, we add even greater value for businesses.”
The service was honoured in the Regulatory Excellence Awards organised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.