Dan Peters 06 October 2016

Councils warned to have 'robust' trading standards

Councils have been warned to think carefully about their statutory duties when cutting services amid the threat of legal action.

Liverpool City Council has now agreed to appoint an independent and professionally competent person to conduct a review of its trading standards provision after it cut staff numbers from 19 to four.

The agreement ended a two-year dispute and saw off Contempt of Court allegations that the council had failed to undertake the review it had originally promised.

Experts believe the legal case, which came about when former Liverpool employee Stephanie Hudson, sought a judicial review of the cuts – has far-reaching consequences for UK councils.

Director of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University, Professor Keith Brown, said: ‘Section 42 of the Care Act requires local authorities to protect vulnerable people from financial abuse but most councils only prosecute one or two rogue traders a year.’

Liverpool City Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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