PENDLE’s pubs have been given a clean bill of health after intensive joint inspections by Lancashire’s trading standards service, police, and the borough’s licensing officers last week.
During inspections of the pubs, inspectors found that all alcohol was genuine and full-strength, all had accurate stamped measures for their beer and spirits, and no illegal products were found on any premises.
However, a small number of the town’s shops did not perform quite so well. Inspectors found illegal tobacco on six premises, six were selling chilled meat products past use by dates, five were not complying with legislation designed to reduce the underage sales of tobacco, many had unpriced stock, and one stocked counterfeit DVDs.
Inspectors are reminding members of the public of the dangers of buying cheap tobacco and out-of-date food from shops, especially in light of recent health scares.
Consumers are also being advised to check use by dates on chilled food, and to be on their guard against anyone selling potentially counterfeit tobacco or alcohol at unusually cheap prices.
During the joint visits, traders were advised on steps they could take to avoid selling alcohol, tobacco or butane lighter refills to children. Several agreed to improve their existing systems, while advice was also given on preventing the recurrence of any anti-social behaviour linked to alcohol.
Paul Noone, Head of Lancashire County Council’s trading standards service, said: “We are pleased that the pubs we inspected are putting their customers first by selling quality, correctly measured products.
“However we are concerned about illegal cigarettes and! tobacco found in shops in Pendle. Such sales are the tip of a huge illegal nationwide trade which damages our legitimate retailers and our economy.”
County Coun. Albert Atkinson, Cabinet member responsible for trading standards, added: “Cheap tobacco is a real problem in East Lancashire - it increases the amount people smoke, makes it more difficult for smokers to give up and is readily available to children. People who sell such items in our county can expect to be dealt with in a robust manner.”
Coun. Eileen Ansar, chairman of Pendle Council’s Licensing Committee, is pleased that the vast majority of Pendle licensees have adopted a responsible approach in relation to sales of legitimate alcohol and tobacco. She said: “We will continue to work with partner organisations in an effort to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
“It’s excellent news that the majority of Pendle’s pubs are law abiding. It shows that the enforcement teams are running such a tight ship and I’m confident that we can ensure even more pubs and shops receive top marks.”