20 May CONSUMER SAFETY – NEW IDEAS
This is on the members part of the site so please lets keep this amongst ourselves.
I had a meeting with Chris Elgenia (pron el jean-ia) of Notts County Council Trading Standards on Thursday 17th May. He had been in a meeting at BEIS the day previous and was able to pass on some very interesting pointers from that meeting.
His summation from BEIS is that there are 433 local authorities and 164 who ‘could’ make Local Authority Partnership Agreements. Of those 164 only some 24 are actually delivering agreements. Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) are amongst the 24. Please note the FIRA attendance described the representation as being from Nottingham CITY Council. It is very important to note that NCC are keen to set up agreements and I think Chris is not a TSO as we would know them.
The meeting at BEIS was with the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and they were generally discussing application of the new approach to consumer safety and this covers the Code of Practice of which the PAS 7100 is an important factor (see Newsletter 40). The TSO offices in the 24 local authorities feed into central committees who cover the coordination of what they are doing. I must say I am optimistic we are on the right path and I have made sure that the uniques position of the coaters and their part of the supply chain – and including formulators are extremely important if real and meaningful agreements are to be made.
So, we are talking of a COORDINATED PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT where a single authority takes prime responsibility for a group from a particular sector. I have, of course, said nothing derogatory about the FIRA scheme but I have by the same turn emphasised what the FCOGP has to offer.
I have made the plan of action that I have in hand that covers:
- Increasing the number of coaters audited. I want to draw a firm commitment from any coaters not involved that they accept the principle and will join in when the time is right.
- Bring in an audit of systems for formulators to ensure traceability covers choice of chemical and etc.
- Seek to make some formal recognition of the schemes with FIRA.
- Seek formal recognition with TSO process.
Chris pointed out that on issues where there exists uncertainty then TSOs may insist on action to correct matters and bring conformity – and I insist that not one bad word was said about the role of UKTLF. The issue of CTRs was briefly discussed in this context.
The single factor from Chris that may be of interest is that legislation may be used to solve the age old issue of finance for the TSOs by allowing companies failing to meet standards having to fund investigation and a sum of £250,000 for large issues was “bandied about”.
Watch this space……….
I have a follow up meeting on Friday 25th May with the relevant business manager.
PJW Monday 21st May