"What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" Well that is how William Shakespeare saw it.

It would appear that the new Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alan Johnson does not agree. Before the election the two opposition parties were talking about abolishing the Department of Trade and Industry.

Immediately after the election the Labour Government did just that, it became the Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry, briefly.

Alan Johnson is obviously a sensible man; he changed the name back to DTI very quickly.

I hope that this bodes well for the way he will proceed with the other issues that the business world has with the DTI. There were very solid reasons for the Conservative and Liberal Democrat policies on change for this particular department.

The dual role of business and consumer representation is almost impossible to reconcile, surely there has to be a clear division between the two?

The Janus approach of guarding the gate by looking both ways simply does not work. However that is the least of the problems that the DTI causes, the over regulation and government meddling in every aspect of business is unnecessary, expensive and self defeating.

Businesses, especially small businesses, are constantly exhorted by the government to innovate, think positively and go forward with new ideas and new products. Then the same government slaps a new piece of regulation or bureaucracy in their path.

The amount of time that business people spend serving the government as tax collectors and distributors is equalled only by the amount of time they spend trying to catch up with new legislation and regulation to be sure that they are on the right side of the law when one of the innumerable inspectors call.

If the new Minister is going to gain the respect of the small business world then he should take a very close look at his Department and streamline some of the current practices so that his responsibility for enterprise and business growth are better served. A spring clean of old, tired regulations would be good.

One of Alan Johnson's Under Secretaries within his department is Meg Munn, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality. Like Mr Johnston she has a northern constituency and a good record of hard work there and in Parliament.

Her role appears to be keeping the Minister informed on equality issues, but I hope that she will take the subject of women in business very seriously indeed and keep him on track on this.

So, still the Department of Trade and Industry, let us hope that Mr Johnson and his team will be innovative in restyling the product to make it a streamlined and useful organisation that listens and responds to small business and recognises that they are not the enemy but a vital part of the economy.

The millions of pounds that he has saved by not changing the name seems like a good start.

* Diane Rayner is an independent adviser on small businesses in the West Midlands