Government to scrap or simplify 60 regulations affecting hospitality

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

John Penrose has led some of the work for the Red Tape Challenge
John Penrose has led some of the work for the Red Tape Challenge
Tourism minister John Penrose has announced plans set to scrap or simplify 60 regulations governing the food and hospitality industry.

The proposals would effectively free businesses from bureaucratic red tape, after​nearly 600 comments were received from the public and businesses as part of the Government's rigorous Red Tape Challenge.

Penrose, who has led part of the work on the challenge, said: “Rules and regulations grow like bindweed through industry and business, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the hospitality and food and drink sectors.

"Wading through bumph, 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.”

New proposals include:

  • Reducing bureaucracy in licensing by making application forms simpler and giving local areas more flexibility over late-night refreshment licensing, the process for obtaining a Temporary Event Notice and reducing the administrative burdens on businesses with minimal alcohol sales, such as B&Bs.
  • Scrapping the regulations covering the location and design of no-smoking signs.
  • 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.
  • Tackling excess charges for inspection of private water supplies through increased transparency.

Food regulations are also getting an overhaul with specific measures including:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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