The reports look at enforcement in Dudley in the West Midlands, Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, and Northamptonshire. The results for the audit in all cases were generally favourable, although in each authority there were certain areas where improvements to services were required.
David Statham, Director of Enforcement and Food Standards at the Agency said:
"It is encouraging to see that all three local authorities were generally in good shape, although there were areas where improvements to the services are needed. All authorities have agreed plans of action with the Agency to address the areas needing improvement.
"Some of the enforcement actions taken by Northamptonshire County Council in dealing with complex issues relating to fraudulent labelling are impressive. The Agency is committed to improving consumer protection through more informative and accurate labelling. Effective enforcement by local authorities like Northamptonshire is particularly important in taking consumer protection forward."
The audits are part of the new Framework Agreement on local authority food law enforcement services which came into effect on 1 April 2001. The new arrangements are aimed at strengthening links with LAs to ensure effective food law enforcement services are in place to protect local consumers.
The first audits were announced on 22 January 2001 and included the following local authorities: Braintree, Broxtowe, Copeland, Northamptonshire, Telford and Wrekin, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Harrogate, Dudley and Hillingdon.
The audit reports into Harrogate and Braintree were published on 3 July 2001. The remaining 4 reports from the Agency's first quarter programme of audits are currently being completed and will be published shortly.
The local authorities to be audited in the second quarter programme were announced on 3 July 2001 and are now underway. These are: Hampshire, Bradford, Lewes, Oxford City, Middlesbrough, Wokingham, Chichester, Crewe and Nantwich, Cambridge City and Basingstoke and Deane.
Copies of the full reports can be found on the FSA website: http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/industry/report_foodlaw1stpg.htm