By Claire West

The first ever comprehensive report of business attitudes to regulation and its burdens, involving consensus from an unprecedented range of leading representative bodies and companies, is to be published today.

From The Business End of the Telescope - Perspectives on Local Regulation and Enforcement, draws on input from 35 organisations, among them the British Chambers of Commerce, the British Retail Consortium, the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Businesses and the Institute of Directors.

The document explores the views of businesses and depth of their feeling regarding regulatory burdens. It says a culture change in local regulation in which business and regulators work in partnership to achieve prosperity and protection is needed before any real difference will be felt and argues fewer resources for regulation should mean more focus, and better outcomes.

LBRO, the technical experts in local regulation who commissioned the report, hopes it will provide a useful resource for regulators.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

“This report sends a loud and clear message that the burden of regulation on businesses is too much to cope with.

“Bringing an end to the ‘tick-box’ culture of regulation is a key priority for me and something that the Government is working hard to stop, so I’m really pleased to see regulators working with businesses to relieve some of the burden at a local level.”

LBRO Chairman Clive Grace said:

“Cutting red tape is critical in enabling UK businesses to maximise their potential as drivers of economic growth and innovation. Regulation remains a key concern for business, with 33% of SMEs citing it as the greatest barrier to success.

“It has been a major priority for LBRO to provide an insight into how business experiences the regulatory problem at local level. We secured unprecedented support from major businesses such as Asda, as well as business organisations and trade associations, through our Business Reference Panel, to achieve this.”

David Frost, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce:

“From the Business End of the Telescope highlights how businesses of all sectors and all sizes are affected by regulation, and how they interact with local regulatory services on a frequent basis. With austerity measures now imminent, it is crucial that the elements of the system that work well, such as engagement and advice offered by inspection officers, are not lost.

“Business will drive economic recovery, and it is important that policy makers understand the issues raised in this document, so as to create the right environment for the private sector to create wealth”.

Download the full document