Trading Standards and Consumer Services Section
To safeguard the consumer and business interests by effectively and efficiently promoting a fair, safe, equitable and healthy trading environment for the benefit of the community.
Outline of Service Provision
Trading Standards and Consumer Services section is a strategic local authority service contributing to the well-being of the local and business community through its enforcement activities and advisory services. The way in which it complements the aims and objectives of the local authority is unique, by promoting consumerism and ensuring that the trading environment in which business operates is fair and even and by further contributing to the economic regeneration for the areas that it services. It manages service delivery through planned programmed inspections, sampling and responding to requests for service. It is part of the Tameside Community Legal Services Partnership having achieved its Quality Mark status early last year. It is also the leading partner in the newly formed Consumer Support Networks providing joined up Consumer Advice provision across Tameside.
The list of statutory duties under the many Acts of Parliament and associated Statutory Instruments that it enforces - is too numerous to mention but they generally fall into five broad categories. These are - Weights and Measures, Food Products, Safety, Fair Trading and Consumer Advice. The service aims to improve compliance with Trading Standards legislation and create confident and demanding consumers.
In order to meet its objectives the Section aims:-
- To inspect, enforce and monitor metrological controls on weighing and measuring equipment, goods and services.
- To inspect and sample to ensure that food complies with standards of composition, labelling and description.
- To inspect and sample to ensure that a wide range of consumer goods comply with safety standards.
- To monitor the pricing of goods and services to ensure the price indication is not misleading.
- To inspect, examine and test goods and services to make sure they conform to their description.
- To ensure customers are not misled when buying goods and services or fall foul of fraudulent trade practices.
- To supervise and control Consumer Credit licensing and monitor/inspect all those involved in credit lending including advertising and other claims.
- To promote an effective Trading Standards and Consumer Advice Service which is accessible to the community, including Home Safety.
- To investigate all civil and criminal complaints about goods and services.
- To work in partnership with other agencies to promote all the services provided.
- To carry out test purchasing to ensure that all legislation is complied with.
- To consult other traders and all users of the service on enforcement and satisfaction levels.
Fair Trading covers a wide ranging subject area including false trade descriptions, credit lending and borrowing, late holiday booking and descriptions, prices, the sale of unroadworthy cars and approved memberships of organisations. If you are unsure whether your problem fits into the above area please contact us using the details below.
Safety warnings are monitored by the Trading Standards Division in the borough to ensure the safety of the citizens.
Visit www.tradingstandards.gov.uk to view full information on hazards and recalls relating to food and products that have been found to present a hazard to health or safety. If you are still in any doubt, or need further advice please contact the Trading Standards Division.
Trading Standards - Performance Standards
- Food Sampling - Take a minimum of 200 food samples for analysis per annum.
- Safety - Carry out at least 50 test purchases of age related goods.
- Inspections - Carry out inspections of the 10 major supermarkets, at least once every 12 months.
- Promotional Activities - Carry out at least 6 promotional activities per annum
- Personal Callers to Service - See all personal callers to the service within 15 minutes
You can help us by:
- Co-operating with our requests for information to progress an investigation.
- Providing reasonable access in order for the Division to make investigations and inspections.
- Being prepared to allow time to discuss the outcome and recommendations arising from a premise inspection.
Planned Service Reviews
- Regular meetings are held between Managers and staff to inform them of progress and performance on service plans.
- All Service Plans are subject to review at least every quarter in June, September, December and March with the Divisional Manager and the Head of Service and any corrective action is agreed.
- Quarterly Review information will be published throughout the year in this Business Plan and published on Tameside MBC's website.
- The review of 2001/2002 Action Plan (close out) is given in Section 7 (Performance Monitoring).
Divisional progress and service plan reviews are discussed with the Head of Service and the appropriate Executive Member at least every quarter in June, September, December and March. This is in addition to the programmed monthly briefing between the Head of Service and Executive Member.
Tameside residents and businesses can contact us for further information by using the details below