Corporate, Finance, Trading Standards

Management costs reduced by half

Surrey County Council Trading Standards will reduce management costs by half as part of a plan to improve the service and provide taxpayers with better value for money.

A public value review into the consumer champion found ways the service could work more efficiently while protecting and enhancing the high level of performance that has won it national acclaim.

Annual savings of £257,000 were identified in the review. When these are combined with earlier cost reductions of £268,000, it means trading standards will be making savings of £525,000 each year.

This will involve generating more income as well as looking at ways to work more closely with other organisations, such as borough and district councils through, for example, sharing managers or combining licensing operations.

Government-run Consumer Direct is already freeing up time for trading standards officers to carry out more work by taking calls and giving consumer advice to the public. Surrey County Council’s contact centre will add to this by giving out some basic business advice.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “We’re proud of the good work trading standards does but there is always room for improvement. The public value review has found ways to protect and enhance the service while providing better value for money. This will be achieved by working more closely with other organisations, by generating more income and through enabling our staff to work more efficiently.”

The recommendations put forward in the public value review were agreed at a meeting of Surrey County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, 2 November.

ENDS

For more information, journalists can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley on james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk

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