This post was originally posted in August 2013. Some of the links are now dead and so have been removed.
Earlier this year, the union Unison published a report that looked at what effect the budget cuts of the last couple of years have had on Trading Standards departments.
You can view the press release and the report here.
Whilst you might think the report is biased because it comes from a union, I can confirm that pretty much everything they say is accurate, particularly:
- funding is falling
- we do less proactive inspections and visits
- we take on fewer prosecutions
- we provide less help to members of the public
- we are looking at ways to charge for services that are currently free
- fewer products are being test to make sure they are safe or accurately labelled
- too many rogue businesses are able to operate freely
- morale is low
- training is almost non existent
What is more worrying is that further cuts have been made since the report was published and more will be made in the near future so things will only get worse.
Unison have created a petition going to raise awareness of this issue:
Please show your support by signing it (and giving a shout out to my blog!)