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Hairdressers - the new public health menace?

Jo Goodhew MP National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

24 June 2008

Hairdressers - the new public health menace?

The National Party says Labour needs to explain why it thinks hairdressers are such a public health menace that it is planning to wrap several new layers of bureaucracy around them.

"Labour appears to believe that hairdressers are a threat to public safety, and the heavy-handed Public Health Bill seeks to regulate them accordingly. This is taking 'nanny state' too far."

Mrs Goodhew is referring to a new provision in the Public Health Bill that will apply to many businesses, called the Public Health Risk Management Plan.

These will apply to any person carrying out a so-called regulated activity, such as a hairdresser.

"These plans must identify the risks to public health that may arise from the activity, identify how those risks will be prevented or minimised, and set out a timetable for how they will be managed.

"Every Public Health Risk Management Plan must then be submitted to an assessor for approval.

"The Director General of Health will maintain a national database of consents granted as a result of a Public Health Risk Management Plan. After all this work an applicant will be given a certificate to display on their wall!

"And on top of all this, the hairdresser will also require a consent from their local council to carry on business as a hairdresser.

"Local Government has told the select committee considering the Public Health Bill that these provisions will apply to low-risk businesses, are unnecessary, and that the bill is total overkill. They say it's a duplication of the consent process.

"Labour is seeking to over-regulate everything from free speech, to light bulbs, and now hairdressers. Whatever will they think of next?"


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