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Andrew Mitchell MP urges constituents, local businesses and community groups to help the Government rip up red tape


Andrew Mitchell MP has this week urged Sutton Coldfield residents to contribute to the Government’s Red Tape challenge which is aiming to tear up some of the 21,000 ‘red tape’ rules that blight local businesses and volunteers.

Following receipt of numerous letters from Sutton Coldfield businesses over the years Andrew Mitchell urged residents to come forward with any suggestions on how to improve regulation and red tape.

The Red Tape challenge website – www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk –was launched earlier this month by the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Vince Cable. It gives the public a chance to have their say on regulations that affect their everyday lives; whether it is to speak up for well designed rules that are there to protect or to challenge badly designed or badly thought through regulations that are an unnecessary burden.

The campaign is part of the Government’s growth agenda and will tackle the stock of more than 21,000 statutory instruments that are currently putting barriers in the way of businesses, volunteers and the public. The first area of national life to go under the microscope will be retail. Following this, every few weeks a new set of regulations, organised around themes, will open on the website for anyone to comment on. Once a theme has closed to the public, the Prime Minister has said in a letter to all Ministers that they will have three months to explain why a regulation is still required, or it will be scrapped.

Over 6,000 ideas and suggestions were made during the first week of the new website which was launched on 7 April and focuses on retail. Discussion has included:

  • Simplifying the complex range of age restrictions on buying products, making it easier for businesses and consumers to understand;
  • The use of metric and imperial measures and simplifying weights and measures regulation;
  • Amendment of the egg marketing regulations so that small scale producers can sell their eggs to local retailers without eggs having to be stamped, promoting growth and local produce.

The opportunity to comment on regulations affecting the retail sector runs until 4 May. The following day will see the launch of regulations for the hospitality, food and drink sector.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “Many of my constituents have stressed to me the burden that red tape presents so I hope that as many people as possible contribute to this public audit. We need to tackle all those unnecessary rules with vigour, both to free local businesses to compete and create jobs, and give individuals greater freedom. As David Cameron has said, we want to be the first government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation, rather than increasing it.”

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