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LAU News - October 2007

Health and safety newsletter for local authorities


by Nick O’Donnell

Gareth Broughton

Gareth Broughton,
Acting head of LAU

Welcome to the October edition of LAU's Health and Safety Newsletter and also to the new Acting-Head of LAU, Gareth Broughton. Many of you will already know Gareth from his involvement in LAPS, local authority technical guidance and the development of the HELA extranet: HELex. I too have taken on a temporary role as Newsletter Editor following Richard Wilson's return to FOD and my return from the Better Regulation Executive.  

We also welcome Judith Hackitt as the new Chair of HSC. Judith replaces Sir Bill Callaghan from 1 October and a short biography is included in the newsletter.  Over the last 8 years, Bill has played a pivotal role in raising awareness of the importance of ensuring that risks to health and safety are properly controlled, and in forging partnerships between HSC/E and local government, employers, trade unions and other stakeholders. He was instrumental in developing HSC's Strategy to 2010, and has personally championed the sensible risk message. It has also been a period that has seen many changes, notably in the improved relationship and partnership between LAs and HSE.

On the theme of change, the Local Government White Paper and the draft Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill will further change the local government landscape and the relationship between local and central government. Similarly, the Government's commitment to delivering an improved regulatory framework and the Hampton agenda will mean an increased spotlight on the Partnership and how we work together more effectively.  The Local Better Regulation Office Company (LBRO) is now in place and discussions continue between LBRO, the local authority associations, national regulators, Government departments and the devolved administrations about how, in reality, their proposals might be implemented.  The response to the Consultation Document on the draft Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill has just been published and this sheds further light on the proposed way ahead.

There are also likely to be changes in the way we ask you to plan and report your health and safety activity to provide greater clarity and to reduce ambiguity and duplication. This includes a look at the LAE1 form, Fit3 planning and reporting, HELA LAC 67/1 on priority planning and other related arrangements. We have listened to the comments, and those of the LACORS Policy Forum, on these issues and proposals will be submitted to HELA shortly. Any such changes will also need to take account of the Government’s proposals outlined in the draft Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill (e.g. on the Primary Authority Partnerships). Following this, we will of course, consult you fully on any planned proposals.  

Nick O’Donnell

Updated 2019-01-31