Plans for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards to merge

Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph

Outside the Council chamber at Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street. Photo: Paul Franks/Peterborough Telegraph

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A proposal has been announced for Peterborough City Council to share Trading Standards services with Cambridgeshire County Council.

The partnership would see a more efficient use of services and a better intelligence-led deployment of pooled resources leading to an enhanced service for residents across the county.

Peterborough would be acting as the hosting authority and it is expected the move would lead to efficiencies resulting from areas such as reduced systems cost, and reductions in annual regulatory subscriptions and memberships.

Existing offices in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire would be retained, and officers would continue to operate from their current base under a fully integrated management team.

The move is part of the continued approach by both councils to find ways to save money in the face of austerity measures.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and environment capital at Peterborough City Council, said: “By collaborating with our neighbours in Cambridgeshire to create a joint Trading Standards service we can deliver a stronger, more resilient service, better able to meet future challenges and demands from a rising population.

“The service will deliver more effective interventions against increasingly sophisticated criminal activity. It will also mean we can better handle major incidents such as animal health disease outbreaks, and provide an enhanced offering to support business growth.

“With increasing pressure on budgets we must make sure we work hard to get the best value from our spending and find more efficient and cost effective ways of providing services.”

Peterborough has existing contractual arrangements in place to deliver a Trading Standards service for Rutland County Council.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Chairman of the Highways and Community Infrastructure, said: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough do not just share borders but also growing economies and businesses that both authorities want to support and help further increase their success. This new joint initiative makes perfect sense in helping support our local businesses while meeting the financial challenges ahead.

“It means improved joint working and sharing of intelligence to stop criminals and fraudsters targeting the most vulnerable in our communities. Trading Standards play a vital role protecting communities and consumer rights as well as supporting legitimate businesses and boosting the local economy.”

Following a full consultation, if agreed, it is expected the shared service arrangement would come into force on April 1 2017.