News story

Red Tape Challenge

Minister invites hospitality, food and drink industries to ‘declare war’ on rules and red tape.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The hospitality, food and drink industries get the chance today to declare war on the rules and red tape that are holding back their growth and stifling their chances of success.  For the next four weeks, the Red Tape Challenge will allow people to name and shame the regulations they want to see scrapped.

The website will give them the opportunity to say whether regulations targeted at these sectors - ranging from measures on arsenic and chloroform introduced over thirty years ago to rules on ice cream van jingles - are still necessary or are actually examples of excessive red tape.

And the ministers responsible for them will then have to justify each rule and, where the case for their existence cannot be justified, consign them to the scrapheap. The site also allows the industry to flag up ways in which problems can be solved without intrusive government regulations.

Tourism Regulation Taskforce

Former Whitbread Chief Executive Alan Parker CBE has agreed to become the champion for this theme ensuring that it delivers real results quickly.  He has also agreed to take on a longer term role as Head of the Tourism Regulation Taskforce ensuring that the wider barriers identified in the tourism strategy are dismantled. 

This work will focus on providing:

  • coherence to tourism and hospitality industry views;
  • a forum for other interested parties to engage (e.g. consumer interests, enforcement authorities);
  • a chance to identify and review proposed regulations at both the UK and EU level, affecting the Visitor Economy; and 
  • ways to prioritise and develop an intelligent, evidence-based, case to government on unnecessary regulations rules and inspection regimes that should be amended or repealed.

Mr Parker will lead a group made up of industry professionals who will action the feedback received during the Red Tape Challenge, producing a report and set of recommendations for DCMS and government in the wider context to implement.

Encouraging growth

Tourism Minister John Penrose said:

“As the Prime Minister said last month, proper standards in things like fire safety and food hygiene are vital for us all, so where regulations are fit for purpose they should stay.  But everyone knows this is not always the case - and there are just too many petty, outdated and repetitive rules and regulations holding back business in this country. So cutting through the red tape is absolutely central to the Government’s vision for Britain, and our plans to grow the economy. We want to be the first Government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation, not increased it.

Agriculture and Food Minister Jim Paice said:

“Global demand for food is rising and there are going to be huge opportunities for the British food and drink industries in the coming years.

“Some regulations, such as those on food safety, make sense and are welcomed by consumers. However, the Government is committed to removing unnecessary barriers to growth and finding alternatives to regulation.”

Further information

Published 6 May 2011