New charter to deliver better regulation for businesses

Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is pioneering a new relationship between business and local regulators to help encourage economic growth.

GBSLEP Better RegulationsFollowing consultation, companies identified three areas on which regulators should focus: the transparency of inspections, accessibility to advice and support and stronger partnerships with businesses.

In response, GBSLEP has launched a regulatory charter that sets out a new relationship between regulators and business under the ‘Better Business for All’ brand – and if successful it could be rolled out across the country.

ACAS, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), West Midlands Fire Service and all nine local authorities in the LEP area have already pledged their support.

The charter features the following key elements:

  • Businesses to have a single point of contact for local regulation via a web portal that has been developed and branded ‘Talk to Reg’ by Lichfield District Council (due for launch in September)
  • Regulators to tailor advice and approach to match the business lifecycle – i.e. start-up, growth stage and mature
  • Regulation made simple – a straightforward explanation of the ‘who, why and what’ of regulation

Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director and Managing Director of Blue Sky Corporate Finance, commented: “We are one of two regulatory pathfinders working with the Better Regulation Delivery Office to change the way regulators and businesses work together to help companies comply with regulation and encourage them to grow.

“It is the small and medium size firms – with limited resources to deal with regulations – that we think will particularly benefit from this work and these are the one we should be targeting to help them grow and create wealth and jobs.

“Good businesses thrive when regulations are transparent and consistently applied…it sets them apart from operators who flout the law and helps enhance protection for consumers and the general public.

“I’m especially delighted that we’ve got Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest local authorities all involved.”

The Charter, which is available in full from, is a firm commitment from regulators to be more open and to proactively support local businesses to grow.

Firms can expect to experience less red tape and bureaucracy, quicker and easier access to information and a greater understanding of their problems.

By encouraging companies to come forward, the LEP and its partners believe this will save management teams valuable time, whilst also reducing the possibility of future fines for breaching legislation.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore added his support: Tough economic times require a change in approach. We are working towards a new relationship in which businesses can be confident about calling on us for advice and help in complying with the law.

“The way regulation is delivered is as important in creating the conditions for business investment and growth as the regulations themselves.”

An event to share learning from the pathfinder groups nationally will take place in Birmingham on October 31s.

The Better Regulation Delivery Office, which is leading work with LEPs, has published a discussion paper, ‘Regulation-and-growth, which seeks to clarify the relationship between the two.