William Eichler 22 January 2018

Local authority leaders welcome new consumer safety body

Council chiefs have welcomed the launch of a new national oversight body focused on identifying faulty products and protecting consumers.

The Government yesterday announced the creation of the Office for Product Safety and Standards which will provide support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams.

The new body, which is part of Whitehall’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety, will help to identify consumer risks and manage responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.

Established in October 2016 by former consumer minister Margot James, the Working Group was made up of product and fire safety experts.

‘The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced,’ said business minister Andrew Griffiths.

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Safer and Stronger Communities Board, described the move as a ‘positive step’.

‘The LGA is pleased that its call for more support from government for local trading standards teams around product safety has been answered.

‘Today’s announcement is a positive step towards making sure that those teams are able to protect our residents from faulty electrical equipment, such as tumble dryers or fridge freezers, which can cause fires which can destroy life and devastate property.’

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