Hospitality regulation and red tape cutting report presented to Government by industry taskforce

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Intercontinental hotels group

Tourism Minister John Penrose speaking at the British Hospitality Association whose president chaired the regulation taskforce that reported to the minister
Tourism Minister John Penrose speaking at the British Hospitality Association whose president chaired the regulation taskforce that reported to the minister
An industry taskforce chaired by the British Hospitality Association featuring representatives from restaurants, hotels and pubs and bars has submitted a report of recommendations on cutting red tape and regulations to the Tourism Minister John Penrose.

Among the 80-plus proposals in the report entitled 'Smart Regulation and Economic Growth: Seizing the Tourism Opportunity', is the establishment of a cross-Cabinet committee to coordinate policies on hospitality issues to ensure regulations that impact the industry don't clash with rules created by other government departments.

Other ideas from the taskforce, which says removing red tape is vital for the industry, include amendments to visa controls for tourists making them simpler, quicker and cheaper, clearer guidance on fire safety and minimised cost and length of health and safety risk assessments.

Taskforce impact

The taskforce was formed in 2011 by Tourism Minister John Penrose as part of the Government's 'Red Tape Challenge'. Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) whose president, Alan Parker, chaired the committee said the indications were that the impact of the proposals would be greater than in previous occasions.

“The hospitality industry submitted a raft of proposals in 2000 to the Better Regulation Taskforce and few, if any, were implemented and The Task Force’s impact was minimal,” she said.

“We believe that the report shows the way to sweep away so much of the red tape that frustrates so many businesses and which poses such a threat to the creation of jobs in the hospitality industry,” Ibrahim added.

John Penrose

Some of the proposals such as the ideas on visas are unlikely to get full Government backing but the Tourism Minister John Penrose welcomed the publication of the report.

“The Prime Minister has said that ‘a regulation should go...unless there is a clear and good justification for government being involved.’ This will be our starting point and, although it’s clear that not all that’s been put forward will get through, I will now consult colleagues in Government to see what together we can achieve,” he said.

Penrose previously announced plans to scrap or simplify 60 regulations affecting the industry in September 2011​ and a month later he took part in a work placement to see the impact of red tape on hospitality and tourism businesses​.

Lifeblood

The taskforce whose members included Simon Barratt of Whitbread Group, Jeremy Goring of The Goring Hotel, London and George Turner InterContinental Hotels Group claimed that tourism and hospitality businesses were the lifeblood of the British economy but were being threatened with regulation.

The chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), who was appointed as chairman of the Tourism Alliance for the second time in July​, welcomed the positive reception to the report by Penrose. In an audio interview for BigHospitality in the same week of the publication Simmonds discussed some of the regulation changes that needed to happen for pubs​.

The report which also includes proposals on changing laws on teenage workers and amalgamating food labelling legislation can be read in full on the Department for Culture Media and Sport website and will now be considered by the Government.

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