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Government proposes scrapping or simplifying 60 regulations affecting hospitality

29 September 2011 by

The Government is set to scrap or simplify 60 regulations governing the food and hospitality industry, following feedback from the industry.

Tourism minister John Penrose (pictured) announced the move today after the public and businesses made 600 comments as part of the Government's Red Tape Challenge.

Proposals include:

â- Scrapping the regulations covering the location and design of no-smoking signs.
â- Changing regulations to make clear that properties rented out for less than four months in a year do not need Energy Performance Certificates. Guidance will also make clear that an EPC is not required where a property is used for short-term holiday lets, as long as certain conditions are met.
â- Tackling excess charges for inspection of private water supplies through increased transparency.

The Government also announced a programme for the improvement of food regulations in a bid to benefit smaller businesses and new entrants. Measures include:

â- A rationalisation of food labelling and composition regulations - reducing the number from 34 to 17 - and a new "food labelling map", in a bid to make it easier for businesses to know the rules they need to follow.
â- A streamlining of food safety regulations, reducing the number of regulations from 34 to 11. This will include the scrapping of a number of regulations where protection is provided under other legislation, such as rules on arsenic, chloroform, and ungraded eggs. Remaining legislation will be consolidated so that most food businesses will only need to look at one regulation.
â- The removal of unnecessary "gold plating" of European regulations that cost businesses money, such as requirements on minimum hardness of bottled water and the fortification of margarine.
â- A consultation on requirements for child minders and groups in village halls to register separately as food businesses, including the option of removing the requirements.

Penrose, who has led the work on this part of the Red Tape Challenge, said: "Rules and regulations grow like bindweed through industry and business, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the hospitality, food and drink sectors. Wading through bumf, filling in pointless and repetitive forms is a spirit-sapping experience which too often chokes off enterprise and endeavour. The Red Tape Challenge has shone a spotlight on all this, and I am delighted with our progress".

Entertainment licences to be cut under Government plans >>

UK alcohol consumption still lower than in 2004 >>

Cost of red tape reaches £16.8b despite government schemes >>

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

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