Report of the Interim Director of Consumer Protection and Market Operations.
The Committee considered a report of the Interim Director of Consumer Protection & Market Operations.
The report sought to seek the Members approval to explore the possibilities of working in collaboration with the other Local Authorities with the aim of forming a Primary Authority ‘Hub’, with the City of London and other Primary Authorities pooling and sharing their regulatory and technical expertise.
There was a discussion around the cost of the ‘Hub’ and who the other Local Authorities were. Members were assured that the project would recover its costs. There has been an interest in the ‘Hub’ from boroughs such as Greenwich, Havering, Islington, Croydon and Westminster City Council.
A Member asked for an example of how the ‘Hub’ will function, Officers explained that the City of London will receive advice requests from businesses. Should the City of London lack the particular technical expertise to advise, it can then reach out to the other participating London Local Authorities to utilise their expertise. Furthermore, Members were assured that the City of London will always ensure that it would carry out its own second stage, final check on any advice given by another participating London Local Authority before it is issued.
A Member queried on the possibilities of any liabilities in the event of incorrect information being provided to businesses. Officers reassured Members that the mechanisms envisaged, for example the second stage check of all draft advice from other participating London Local Authorities, were robust enough to prevent legal challenges. The City of London will also seek to engage on the “Hub” with London Councils once the project makes progress on its initial stages.
RESOLVED – that the Committee:
a) Members endorse the approach taken by the Port Health & Public Protection
Division to-date; and that
b) Members further request that: -
(i) the Interim Director of Consumer Protection & Markets Operations seeks
partnership relationships with other willing local authorities to set up and pilot
a Primary Authority “Hub” delivery model as described above in order to test
out its efficacy for the future; and
(ii) reports back to this Committee at the end of the pilot.