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REGULATION NOT DEREGULATION


I can think of at least one council’s driver penalty point scheme that would fall foul of that!


2.3 Regulators should provide an impartial and clearly explained route to appeal against a regulatory decision or a failure to act in accordance with this Code. Individual officers of the regulator who took the decision or action against which the appeal is being made should not be involved in considering the appeal. This route to appeal should be publicised to those who are regulated.


This means that councils must outline your right of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court or to a licensing committee in accordance with their scheme of delegation, comprising entirely of elected members who are independent of the licensing department. An ‘officer panel’ or body with any licensing officers included within it would be in clear breach of this requirement.


3. Regulators should base their regulatory activities on risk


3.1 Regulators should take an evidence based approach to determining the priority risks in their area of responsibility, and should allocate resources where they would be most effective in addressing those priority risks.


This indicates that those silly tinted glass policies need to go given the lack of evidence that they are a public safety issue.


3.5 Regulators should review the effectiveness of their chosen regulatory activities in delivering the desired outcomes and make any necessary adjustments accordingly.


Consultations are not just an opportunity for the trade to say “yea” or “nay” to the council’s proposed changes. They are an opportunity for trade representatives to suggest their own changes to existing and perhaps long-established policies, especially those which would fail the reasonably necessary test or be in breach of this code.


4.1 Regulators should collectively follow the principle of “collect once, use many times” when requesting informa- tion from those they regulate.


When you come to renew your vehicle or driver licences, does your council require the same documentation each time in support of your application (driving licence, passport, photos, V5c) even when these have not changed or need to be changed since last time? If they already have it on file they don’t need it again.


5.1 Regulators should provide advice and guidance that is focused on assisting those they regulate to understand and meet their responsibilities. When providing advice


34 APRIL 2021


and guidance, legal requirements should be distinguished from suggested good practice and the impact of the advice or guidance should be considered so that it does not impose unnecessary burdens in itself.


Some officers have a tendency to give advice in a way that it is intended taken as instruction rather than guidance.


5.4 Regulators should seek to create an environment in which those they regulate have confidence in the advice they receive and feel able to seek advice without fear of triggering enforcement action.


Quite. Monitoring the effectiveness of the Regulators’ Code


The Government is committed to making sure the Regulators’ Code is effective. To make sure that the Code is being used effectively, we want businesses, regulated bodies and citizens to challenge regulators who they believe are not acting in accordance with their published policies and standards. It is in the wider public interest that regulators are transparent and proportionate in their approaches to regulation.


The Government will monitor published policies and standards of regulators subject to the Regulators’ Code, and will challenge regulators where there is evidence that policies and standards are not in line with the Code or are not followed.


It is worth reading the whole Code and trying to identify areas in your council’s licensing policy which may be in breach of it. If you believe that your licensing authority is contravening the Code, the remedial route is not through the courts (unless you are considering a judicial review) but through the complaints procedure.


First you complain to the licensing manager, then the CEO of the department, usually Business or Environmental Health, followed by the CEO of the entire council. If this does not provide relief you can refer your case and all previous correspondence to the Local Government Ombudsman. https://www.lgo.org.uk/


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