Local shops have welcomed plans to change the way that businesses experience ‘frontline enforcement’, set out by Business Secretary Vince Cable. Plans include:

A review of all regulators, to consider whether they are necessary and working efficiently.

Changes to the ‘Primary Authority’ scheme to allow more organisations to participate, benefiting small business and including specific policy areas which are currently out of scope: under-age sales of knives, gambling, and fire safety.

Reforming the existing Local Better Regulation Office to become the Better Regulation Delivery Office to advise Ministers and drive best practice in enforcement policy.

Dr Cable said: “Business has said clearly that regulatory enforcement is too often heavy-handed, inefficient and risk-averse – all of which drains productive businesses of time and resources. They also cited examples of good practice that we need to capture and build on. That’s why we’re introducing a review of all regulators.

“We will also move to a transparent and light-touch system based on real risks, including extending the successful Primary Authority scheme and bringing the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) into Government as a new Better Regulation Delivery Office.”

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: "Often regulatory burden comes not from the regulation itself but how it is enforced. We welcome the review of regulators and expect this to drive new better practices that will support local shops.

“In particular Primary Authority is a way to drive consistency, up to now it has been hard for small businesses to benefit. We welcome Ministers’ commitment to expand these benefits to groups like trade associations that would create the potential for tens of thousands of businesses to benefit.

“We also welcome the retention and refocus of the LBRO. We will continue to work closely with the Better Regulation Delivery Office team to deliver real changes in enforcement practice in important areas such as underage sales enforcement.”