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The Primary Authority Scheme

Through the Primary Authority Scheme, businesses can rely on assured advice on food safety, health and safety, environmental protection, or licensing as well as trading standards matters. It is applicable nationally and will provide a secure basis for investment and operational decisions.

Sedgemoor District Council as a pro-business authority is able to offer the Primary Authority Scheme to businesses within the local area and regionally. Links have also been forged with Devon & Somerset County Council's Trading Standards Department to be able to offer a greater range of services under the scheme.

The Council's Environmental Health Team are currently appointed as the 'Primary Authority'  for:

  • Somerset Larder Limited - sites in Sedgemoor and West Somerset.
  • Arthur David - based in Bristol
  • Bridgwater & Taunton College - based in Bridgwater
  • Cheddar Water - based in Cheddar
  • FSC Group Ltd - based in Cheddar
  • HOST - based in Bridgwater
  • Pennylane - based in Bridgwater
  • Valley Smokehouse - based in Stone Allerton

The Primary Authority Scheme was launched in 2009, and is already being used by many businesses. Its operation is a statutory responsibility of the Secretary of State but undertaken by Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), which registers partnerships, issues guidance and resolves disputes. Primary Authorities help businesses avoid inconsistent and confusing red tape. This has been shown to increase business confidence and reduce operational costs, allowing enterprises to focus on expansion. 

Once legally nominated by BRDO, partnerships are automatically recognised by all local regulators. A central register of the partnerships provides an authoritative reference source for businesses and councils.

By working closely with the business, a primary authority can apply regulations to their specific circumstances providing robust and reliable advice. This advice must be respected by all local regulators enabling the business to operate with assurance and confidence.

A national inspection plan can be produced by the primary authority to improve the effectiveness of inspection, avoid repeated checks, and enable better sharing of information.

If a problem arises, the primary authority can coordinate enforcement action to ensure that the business is treated consistently and that responses are proportionate to the issue.

A business can choose what level of support it needs from its primary authority. The Council does make a charge for this service to recover its costs. Please see the link below for greater details on the scheme.

For more information on how to apply to join the Primary Authority Scheme with Sedgemoor District Council please contact the Environmental Health Team on  0300 303 7806.

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