Research and Analytics

Environmental Services

Trading Standards Statistics


September 2007
Information

Trading standards and consumer protection services are intended to secure and maintain a fair and safe trading environment by ensuring that individuals are protected and that businesses compete on equal terms. They form one of a number of key regulatory services within the environmental services responsibilities of local authorities.

Trading standards perform a range of functions, though there is a degree of variation between different authorities. They enforce over 80 Acts of parliament and have powers of prosecution. They also act as a source of information and advice to the general public. The services are located in county councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and London boroughs in England, and in the unitary authorities in Wales and Scotland.

Trends

In 2007-08 local authorities in Great Britain are expecting to spend a total of 204m on the provision of the Trading Standards Service, with income of 24m anticipated from grants, fees and charges for services such as weights and measures testing. Net expenditure on the service shows a 2.2% increase from 199m spent in 2006-07. Over the same period the RPI has increased by 4.5%.

The Trading Standards Service is particularly labour intensive, with 70% of gross costs arising from employee expenses. More than 4,300 FTE staff were expected to be employed by services in Great Britain at 1st April 2007, which represents a decrease of 1.5% over 2006.

Consumer Direct is a telephone and online consumer advice service, funded by the OFT and supported by local authorities nationally to offer advice to people on consumer issues. It would appear that its impact has been very significant, with the number of consumer led enquiries and complaints falling from more than 1.2 million in 2002-03 to fewer than 550,000 in 2006-07, a drop of 57.0% over five years. In the last year alone, the number has dropped by 26.2%.

Internet subscribers can access further statistical information, including data at local authority level, by accessing the links on the left. If you do not currently subscribe, further details on how to access this title are availablehere.


September 2007

Subscribers, please use the left hand menu and non subscribers click below

CIPFAstats Current Datasets