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keyfact Horsham District

According to the 2013 UK Competitiveness Index, Horsham is ranked 68th out of 379 districts in terms of its competiveness. This puts it in the 18th percentile, making it the second most competitive district in West Sussex.

Primary Authority scheme partners businesses with local councils

The Primary Authority (PA) scheme is a statutory scheme run by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BDRO). It enables businesses to form a statutory partnership with a single Local Authority.

To qualify for a PA the business activities must cross into another council's area - an example would be a business with multiple retail outlets located in a number of different council districts. The aim is for the Local Authority to provide its business partner assured advice and legal interpretation of the law. The benefit to the business is that this assured advice cannot be challenged by enforcement officers from other councils. They are required to accept the legal interpretation provided by the PA and cannot ask a business to do anything different.

The purpose is to improve consistency in the delivery and enforcement of regulations, reduce bureaucracy and create a level playing field for business.

A business can select any council they wish for a PA partnership. This can cover a number of regulatory functions such as food safety, health & safety and trading standards. The BDRO have to approve the PA and the council can make a charge to recover their costs in administering the scheme.

The Environmental Health Department at Horsham Council now acts as PA for two organisations giving advice on food safety. One partner is the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, the Trade Association for retail butchers, and we now provide food safety advice to over a thousand of their members. We also act as PA for a large catering company located at Gatwick.

If your business trades over a wide area and receives regulatory interventions from other Councils in the UK you could be eligible. Interested in forming a partnership for food safety or health & safety? If so why not give us a call, it could be worth your while.

For further information telephone Paul Hobbs 01403 215421 or email

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