PRA is well placed to press its case in the wake of new appointments to head all the government departments that have most impact on fuel retailers, according to PRA chairman Brian Madderson.
He said: “I’m pleased that earlier this year RMI, with PRA, appointed new political lobbyists Pepper Public Affairs.
“We will need their expertise going forward to quickly establish relationships with the key departments for petrol retailers, which all have new secretaries of state.
Madderson said a major surprise in the ministerial reshuffle was that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been dissolved.
He said: “We assume all the critical arrangements for our sector and work we had in process with DECC, such as the quarterly statistics for fuel volumes and on energy resilience, will be transferred to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), headed by Greg Clark.”
The Department for Transport will also have a crucial impact on the sector as it is the lead department for the introduction of E10 petrol. Madderson commented: “We hope the new secretary of state Chris Gayling will be rather more sympathetic than his predecessor about the sector’s concerns about the over early introduction of E10.”
The PRA is also engaged on work with the Home Office, where Amber Rudd has been appointed to the top job. It has a seat on the Forecourt Crime Senior Steering Committee, which is working to reduce and prevent forecourt crime, and it is also working with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Anti-Slavery Commission to tackle the problems of unregulated car washes.
It is also engaging with the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, now headed by Andrea Leadsom, about the problems unregulated car washes cause for water tables.
And the Treasury, where Philip Hammond is now chancellor, impacts on the sector in a number of ways including fuel tax, and the rural rebate scheme.
Madderson added: “We do not yet know about the junior ministers, who will probably be confirmed early next week, but there may be some continuity there. We will be well placed to forward our aims robustly and efficiently.”