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    C-stores support Trading Standards in its call for more resources

    Image by Lancashire County Council

    Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the publication of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute manifesto, which calls on the Government to commit significant additional resources to support the work of Trading Standards in communities across the UK.

    The manifesto sets out three priority areas for the next Government:

    • Build back Trading Standards services to better protect consumers and law-abiding businesses through additional investment of over £100m over the course of the next four years
    • Create more confident consumers by putting in place greater levels of protection, for example by appointing a Consumer Champion
    • Develop a regulatory system that supports business innovation and growth, which includes clearer legal duties for online businesses

    Polling of Trading Standards officers released in early 2023 suggests that they are struggling to deal with the volume of intelligence that they’re receiving on the illicit vaping market. 61 per cent of enforcement officers said they don’t have the resources to tackle the illicit trade in tobacco and vaping.

    ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “The work of Trading Standards is essential in ensuring the safety and legitimacy of the products that retailers sell. The main theme of this report is a need for more resources to put Trading Standards services on a more sustainable footing.

    “Trading Standards resources have been stretched to breaking point while the Government commits inadequate funding to deal with major issues, such as the illicit tobacco and vaping markets. We will continue to work closely with our Trading Standards partners and Surrey and Buckinghamshire though our industry leading Assured Advice scheme, and highlight the need for officers to have additional funding to be able to do their jobs effectively.”

    John Herriman, Chief Executive of CTSI who launched the Manifesto in Parliament said, “Our Manifesto sets out the bold and necessary action we believe is vital to protect consumers and law-abiding businesses.  The UK’s Trading Standards profession is at the heart of protecting consumers, and we provide a significant layer of defence, but this layer has been decimated in recent years, with the consequence that consumers are at an all-time high of being ripped off, and susceptible to buying products that may be substandard, counterfeit or dangerous. 

    “Now is the time that we must build back the Trading Standards workforce so that consumers can once again be confident, which is vital for the UK’s economic growth and prosperity.”

    ACS Assured Advice has recently been updated for 2024, having now been in place for retailers for 10 years. Assured Advice covers everything from vaping regulations to health and safety, food safety and selling fuel.

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