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Cutting the regulation of small businesses

Comment 16th July 2010

I have spent the last year seeking to create some income to pay for the maintenance etc of the large historic house I live in. In doing so I have been faced with interminable regulation of one kind or another from the local council and the fire service out of all proportion to any perceived risks or effect upon the surrounding community. In this process I have had to:

  • apply for 3 sets of planning permission simply involving change of use, leading to a requirement from the highways department for me to spend thousands of pounds on modifications to my drive for ludicrous reasons.
  • obtain a personal licence (the one you need to run a pub or nightclub) simply to hold a small number of weddings on the premises.
  • obtain a premises licence.
  • be subjected to a fire department audit which required me again to spend thousands of pounds on precautions for a fire risk that is negligable.
  • be inspected by the environmental health services simply because we provide breakfasts to a few B & B guests.

I could go on but suffice it to say that I have been met with a set of officials with the right to interfere with just about everything one does and require expenditure that is out of all relation to the risks involved. One of the byproducts is that we have decided we will not employ anyone under any circumstances. If one does the level of regulation is now laughable – having to send them on courses to climb ladders, lift boxes and other such nonsense. Anybody working here now has to be self employed.

I should add that my career has been in govt and corporate life where I have managed large numbers of people and have a good appreciation of what is really required.

There is a great need to strip out this unnecessary regulation and I eagerly look forward to staffing cuts in the local govt sector which will mean that there simply are not all these people with time on their hands and no appreciation of the realities of running a business.

Why does this matter?

To get the economy moving by encouraging business rather than regulating it out of existance.

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