Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service will merge with Plymouth City Council Trading Standards from April 1 2021.
All four authorities have approved the plans which will give them ‘greater clout’ at a time of financial pressure, regulatory change and increasing demand.
The newly expanded service will cover the entirety of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area, creating a consistent approach for businesses across the region.
The larger service will benefit from further economies of scale, leading to an increased capacity for tackling major investigations, greater resilience in dealing with emergencies and will allow for wider specialisations in the support and advice it can offer businesses.
The joint service will maintain its current offices in Devon, Somerset and Torbay and will retain offices in Plymouth.
It is not anticipated that any staff will have to relocate, and no redundancies are proposed as a direct result of this merger.
Paul Thomas, the head of the joint service, which will be Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said: “This proposal is a win-win for businesses, residents and all four councils. The delivery of certain trading standards functions has always benefited from working on a larger scale. There is the significant benefit of consistent, comprehensive and easily accessible regulatory advice across the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area at a time when they need it most.
“In addition, this larger shared service will also give trading standards officers better resources and increased flexibility to deal with complex or emergency situations and would mean we are better placed to tackle major organisations or instances of serious detriment.
“The whole has more clout than the sum of its parts and the prospect of Plymouth joining us adds to that.”