Cuts may hit vital service, warns MP

MP Gordon Marsden

MP Gordon Marsden

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has issued a stark warning on the impact of Government spending cuts, saying they could “hinder” the work of the resort’s trading standards officers.

He was speaking in a debate on the Government’s Consumer Rights Bill, which includes plans to strengthen consumer rights over cancelling contracts.

Mr Marsden urged Business Secretary Vince Cable to bring the proposal forward, citing cases he has taken up in Blackpool and adding: “Will he encourage local authorities to use their public protection departments in that way?”

Agreeing, the Business Secretary said: “Trading standards at a local level are extremely important. He is absolutely right – local trading standards are crucial in implementing much of this legislation.

And later in the debate, Mr Marsden warned of the impact cuts to local government funding could have on trading standards, warning they could be “hindering to the important work they do”.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “This Bill is a start – but as our consumer champion and Shadow Minister Stella Creasy said in the debate, we need to be far more ambitious in expanding consumer rights.

“That means giving local trading standards more teeth and recourses to fight local rip offs and to be able to work with each other.”

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