Decision details

Public Analyst and Scientific Services

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Service Review



“Testing food and products to keep Staffordshire residents and consumers safe is one of the County Council’s key responsibilities. For many years we have been one of the few Councils in the country to carry out this work in-house, using the good reputation of our laboratory to sell services to other local authorities and organisations.


In recent years, the changing nature of this sector means that the laboratory in Stafford is losing money annually. As a well-run council we constantly review the way we work and how we can make the best use of taxpayers’ money to provide essential support and services for Staffordshire residents.


We will, of course, continue to protect the public by providing scientific services.  However, by commissioning the work from other providers, rather than doing it in-house, we can deliver the same service to the public at a lower cost.”


Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities


Reasons for the Decision – To inform Cabinet of a Review recently carried out into the Public Analyst and Scientific Services and to make recommendations regarding the future of this service.


Decision – (a) That the views of the Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee and the responses thereto be noted.


(b) That the Public Analyst and Scientific Services in-house laboratory is closed to reduce the county council’s operating costs.


(c) That the County Council appoints a Public Analyst and Agricultural Analyst from any of the five remaining Local Authority laboratories or alternatively it appoints one/more employed by an approved private sector company.


(d) That those departments within the Council that currently use the in-house laboratory facility should use an external laboratory that offers the best value for money.

Report author: Trish Caldwell

Publication date: 20/07/2017

Date of decision: 19/07/2017

Decided at meeting: 19/07/2017 - Cabinet

Effective from: 26/07/2017

This decision has been called in by:

Accompanying Documents: