New briefing launched on the dangers to worker and public health caused by the Government's 'Better Regulation' initiative and local government funding cuts.
Professor Steve Toombs of the Open University has produced a new briefing that places the spotlight on the lack of effective local government regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards. Prof Toombs interviewed environmental health officers in Merseyside as part of his research. His briefing argues that we may be seeing "the beginning of the end of the state's commitment to, and ability to deliver, social protection."
Linda Boyer, Chair of the Local Government Service Group, spoke at the launch event for the briefing. Linda highlighted how inadequate council funding is resulting in cutbacks in a wide variety of really important functions including: taking action against landlords following complaints about poor housing conditions, testing the safety of drinking water, and investigating the causes of food poisoning. Linda described the mounting pressures on environmental health staff who have a great deal of pride in their role but feel like they are letting the public down because they do not have the resources to perform inspections and enforcement.