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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

Primary Authority Consultation Response

SGF Supports Primary Authority

The Scottish Government is consulting on proposals to establish Primary Authority arrangements for the regulatory responsibilities which are devolved to local authorities in Scotland. Primary Authority arrangements are now well established in England but are relatively underdeveloped in Scotland.

Primary authority allows a business that operates across more than one local authority area to form a partnership with a single local authority in order to receive tailored support in relation to a range of regulatory areas. SGF is generally supportive of these proposals and believes that primary authority partnerships are potentially highly beneficial to our members:

  1. The primary authority provides the business with assured advice on fulfilling its regulatory obligations. This advice must be followed by other local authorities where the business operates.
  2. The primary authority co-ordinates enforcement action proposed against the business. The action must initially be notified to the primary authority, which assesses whether the action is consistent with the assured advice.
  3. Partnerships can work together to develop an inspection plan, agreeing on national priorities for the business. Inspection plans provide a roadmap for routine inspections.

SGF has indicated its support for these proposals in our consultation response. A crucial point made is that, where a local authority decides to charge for some or all of the primary authority services it provides to a business, it can recover only the costs reasonably incurred in providing the services.

Download the SGF response here