To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the public of the 52 per cent decline in total net spend by local authorities in England on trading standards services between 2009 and 2019, as set out by Unchecked UK in their report The UK's Enforcement Gap, published in October 2020.
Councils have flexibility to use the funding they receive from the annual Local Government Finance Settlement for trading standards services. Funding provided through the Settlement is un-ringfenced to ensure local areas can prioritise based on their own understanding of the needs of their local communities. Resources made available through the 2020 Spending Review and annual Settlement allowed councils in England access to an overall increase in Core Spending Power from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This is in line with last year’s available increase. This recognises the resources councils need to meet their pressures and maintain current service levels.
Additionally, Government is supporting regulatory services teams, including trading standards teams, through the Regulatory Services Task and Finish Group, which was established to help coordinate central government’s expectation of regulatory services teams in local government and to propose short and long-term options to support these essential services.