Award for county council

Cambridgeshire County Council has been named “Local Authority of the Year” in the inaugural “Primary Authority” Awards announced by the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise Michael Fallon MP.

As part of the Council’s policy to support companies and jobs within Cambridgeshire the award is in recognition of the work officers from our Supporting Businesses and Communities (SBC) service have been doing across the County.

County Council Service Director, John Onslow, said: “The County Council is always looking at ways in which we can support businesses and the benefits of the scheme have exceeded our expectations. The ability to work closely with a businesses gives companies confidence when investing in new products or marketing materials.”

The scheme is given legal standing by the Regulatory and Enforcement Sanctions Act 2008 and allows the County Council to have formal partnerships with businesses on Trading Standards matters. The support and advice given is officially known as “assured advice” as it is legally binding on other regulators. The benefits for business are certainty in decision making with additional support on grey or complex areas of UK and European legislation.

The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) is responsible for administering the scheme, part of the Government’s Department of Business, Enterprise and Skills Office. The Governments aim with the scheme is to deliver better regulation through true partnership working between businesses and regulators.

Graham Russell, Chief Executive, Better Regulation Delivery Office, said: “Regulation can play an important role in supporting economic growth. Cambridgeshire County Council has demonstrated a forward thinking approach to supporting local business and can be proud of its achievements. This Primary Authority Award recognises the support that Cambridgeshire gives its partner businesses as the best of its kind in the country and an example for other authorities to follow.”

To win the award, the Council submitted evidence to show its strength in supporting small businesses, delivering local economic impact and improving protections for businesses and consumers. The County Council was supported by endorsements from business partners.

Andrew Young Quality Manager at Spearmark Ltd said: “Our Primary Authority Partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council has been effective for over 18 months. In that time I have experienced a significant reduction in time required to manage enquiries raised by other, remote authorities nationwide.”

Ekaterina Igumentseva Managing Director of Simply Organic Europe Ltd, said: “As a small ethical start-up it was extremely important for us to get the most thorough support and understanding of all the regulatory areas of our business before we commenced trading.”

When Cambridgeshire County Council launched the Primary Authority service in May 2011 its intention was to help drive down the cost of complying with legislation by enabling businesses to deal with a single authority and provide timely, tailored advice to business with the assurance that it will be respected by all local regulators. The scheme has now become an integral part of the way the County Council provides support to the business community.