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Tory Government failing to protect Blackpool consumers with cuts to Trading Standards says Gordon

Gordon has accused the Tory Government of failing to protect local consumers in the wake of cuts to councils and their trading standards team. Headshot.jpg

Since 2010, the national spend for trading standards has fallen from £213 million to £124 million and in the last two years staff levels have fallen by 12%. Further research has also shown council budgets for tackling rouge traders has fallen to just £1.99 per a person.

Gordon said the Government were “running down” on consumer rights and “hampering” the good work of trading standards teams such as in Blackpool, who depend on the support from Government to back them up in the work they do.

He said: “Consumers in Blackpool and across the country are having their rights run down by this Tory Government. As a popular seaside town with millions of visitors each year, Blackpool is more prone than most to bogus traders selling counterfeit and unauthorised goods.

“Tim Coglan and the team at Blackpool Council do an excellent job in tacking these rouge sellers – however the cuts from Government to local trading standard teams such as ours is making their job more difficult and less able in their ability to protect residents and visitors alike.”

Following a recent wave of high-profile consumer safety scandals, including diesel emissions cheating at Volkswagen and injuries caused by exploding hoverboards, national trading standard officers have also criticised the Government for not doing enough to protect consumers.

Gordon echoed the words of Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standard Institute, who said: “We have a situation where trading standards teams in local councils are tasked with holding multi-million-pound firms to account, with just a handful of staff.”

Gordon added with the uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, that instead of weakening consumer rights with yet more cuts, the Government should instead prioritise looking at ways to strengthen these rights.

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