Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s obligation
to “The Principles of Good Enforcement: Policy and Procedures”
This document sets out what business and others being regulated
can expect from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s
enforcement officers. It commits us to good enforcement policies
and procedures. Additional statements of enforcement policy
may supplement it.
The primary function of our enforcement work is to protect the
public, the environment and groups such as consumers and workers.
At the same time, carrying out enforcement functions in an equitable,
practical and consistent manner helps to promote a thriving national
and local economy. We are committed to these aims and to maintaining
a fair and safe trading environment
The effectiveness of legislation in protecting consumers or
sectors in society depends crucially on the compliance of those
regulated. We recognise that most businesses want to comply with
the law. We will, therefore, take care to help business and others
meet their legal obligations without unnecessary expense, while
taking firm action, including prosecution where appropriate,
against those who flout the law or act irresponsibly. All citizens
will reap the benefits of this policy through better information,
choice, and safety.
We have therefore adopted the central and local government Concordat
on Good Enforcement. Included in the term “enforcement” are
advisory visits and assisting with compliance as well as licensing
and formal enforcement action. By adopting the concordat we commit
ourselves to the following policies and procedures, which contribute
to best value, and will provide information to show that we are
Principles of Good Enforcement: Policy
In consultation with business and other relevant interested
parties, including technical experts where appropriate, we will
draw up clear standards setting out the level of service and
performance the public and business people can expect to receive.
We will publish these standards and our annual performance against
them. The standards will be made available to businesses and
others who are regulated.
We will provide information and advice in plain language on
the rules that we apply and will disseminate this as widely as
possible. We will be open about how we set about our work, including
any charges that we set, consulting business, voluntary organisations,
charities, consumers and workforce representatives. We will discuss
general issues, specific compliance failures or problems with
anyone experiencing difficulties.
We believe that prevention is better than cure and that our
role therefore involves actively working with business, especially
small and medium sized businesses, to advise on and assist with
compliance. We will provide a courteous and efficient service
and our staff will identify themselves by name. We will provide
a contact point and telephone number for further dealings with
us and we will encourage business to seek advice /information
from us. Applications for approval of establishments, licenses,
registrations, etc, will be dealt with efficiently and promptly.
We will ensure that, wherever practicable, our enforcement services
are effectively co-ordinated to minimise unnecessary overlaps
and time delays.
Complaints about service
We will provide well-publicised, effective and timely complaints
procedures easily accessible to business, the public, employees
and consumer groups. In cases where disputes cannot be resolved,
any right of complaint or appeal will be explained, with details
of the process and the likely time-scales involved.
We will minimise the costs of compliance for business by ensuring
that any action we require is proportionate to the risks. As
far as the law allows, we will take account of the circumstances
of the case and the attitude of the operator when considering
We will take particular care to work with small businesses and
voluntary and community organisations so that they can meet their
legal obligations without unnecessary expense, where practicable.
We will carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent
manner. Whilst inspectors are expected to exercise judgment
in individual cases, we will have arrangements in place to promote
consistency, including effective arrangements for liaison with
other authorities and enforcement bodies through schemes such
as those operated by the Local Authorities Co-Coordinating Body
on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) and the Local Authority
National Type Approval Confederation (LANTAC).
Principles of Good Enforcement: Procedures
Advice from an officer will be put clearly and simply and will
be confirmed in writing, on request, explaining why any remedial
work is necessary and over what time-scale, and making sure that
legal requirements are clearly distinguished from best practice
Before formal enforcement action is taken, officers will provide
an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of the case and,
if possible, resolve points of difference, unless immediate action
is required (for example, in the interests of health and safety
or environmental protection or to prevent evidence being destroyed).
Where immediate action is considered necessary, an explanation
of why such action was required will be given at the time and
confirmed in writing in most cases within 5 working days and,
in all cases, within 10 working days.
Where there are rights of appeal against formal action, advice
on the appeal mechanism will be clearly set out in writing at
the time the action is taken (whenever possible this advice will
be issued with the enforcement notice).
1. If you received a telephone call from a Fire Safety Inspector,
were you satisfied with his/her attitude and manner? If not,
what problems did you experience?
2. If you have received a recent visit from a Fire Safety Inspector
to your workplace, were you satisfied with his/her attitude,
manner, the advice given and the outcome of the inspection? If
not, what problems did you experience?
3. If you have received telephone contact but no inspection,
do you feel sufficiently able to maintain the premises fire precautions
(fire extinguishers, fire alarm emergency lighting etc.) to an
adequate standard, in the absence of an inspection by the Fire