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Monday, June 8, 2015

Strengthened links between council and business

Efforts to strengthen links between Denbighshire County Council and businesses accessing its planning and public protection functions is being piloted in the county – the first project of its kind in Wales.

The Council has a regulatory function to protect the health and well-being of the public through food hygiene, health and safety, Trading Standards, licensing, planning and building control activities.

As part of its Economic and Community Ambition Programme, the Council is now working with the Government’s Better Regulation Delivery Office, with the intention of making sure that businesses receive a co-ordinated response from the Council on regulatory matters through one contact, rather than having to deal with numerous departments.

This initiative is being supported by the Federation of Small Business and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chambers of Commerce.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Public Protection, said: "We want to improve services to our business customers and we’ve already spoken to a number of them about their perceptions. Whilst they understand the need for the various services, there is a clear need for a more seamless service, for closer joint working and for providing assistance and support through advice and guidance.

"We also want to put more emphasis on working with businesses from day one to get things right from a regulation perspective and avoid enforcement action later.

Derek Payet, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills | Better Regulation Delivery Office, said: "The Government’s priority is business growth and it’s great to see local businesses and Denbighshire County Council’s regulatory services working in partnership to achieve this.  It’s good to have an open approach to improvements that will meet the needs of businesses in the area and I’m pleased to be supporting the project through the Better Business for All programme."

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: "Improving links with businesses and making the Council more accessible forms part of our Economic and Community Ambition Strategy. The success of the local economy is of utmost importance and we must play our part in assisting businesses to comply with the law and contribute to their future success.

"We look forward to working closely with businesses over the coming months to make this ambition become a reality."

Federation of Small Businesses North Wales Chair Gwyn Evans said: "Every business faces some form of regulation, but if that regulation is done in a clear and proportionate way it makes life easier both for businesses and regulators themselves.

"The FSB has called for more to be done across Wales to improve the quality of regulation and last year we published a major report – Better Regulation for Wales – on this issue.

Colin Brew, Executive Director of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce said: "West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce are pleased to be supporting this positive initiative and would encourage businesses of all sizes to engage and participate and have their voices heard."

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