Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Housing & Community Safety Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 28th June, 2012
Time:
2.30pm
Place:
First Floor Committee Room, Town Hall, High Street Stockton TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Derrick Brown(Vice Chair), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Maurice Perry(sub Cllr Andrew Sherris), Cllr Norma Wilburn(sub Cllr David Wilburn)
Officers:
Dave Kitching, Lorraine Wilford(DNS), Graham Birtle, Sarah Whaley(L&D)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr David Wilburn
Item Description Decision
Public
HCS
19/12
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
HCS
20/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
HCS
21/12
MINUTES FROM THE MEETING HELD ON THE 26TH APRIL
AGREED that the minutes be signed.
HCS
22/12
DRAFT MINUTES FROM THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 7TH JUNE 2012
AGREED that:

1)the minutes be approved.

2)the suggestions made by the Committee be included as a recommendation in the Review of Tobacco Control.
HCS
23/12
REVIEW OF TOBACCO CONTROL
AGREED that:

1) the information be noted.

2) the suggestions made by members as detailed above be included for recommendation in this review.

HCS
24/12
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the inforamtion be noted.
HCS
25/12
CHAIR'S UPDATE
 
2.30pm - 3.00pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
HCS
19/12
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
HCS
20/12
There were no Declarations of interest.
HCS
21/12
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting which was held on the 26th April 2012 for signature.
HCS
22/12
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting which was held on the 7th June 2012 for approval.

Cllrs suggested that the Committee consider the erection of anti smoking notices in designated smoking areas outside hospitals and that this be included as a recommendation in the Review of Tobacco Control.
HCS
23/12
Consideration was given to the Tobacco Control Statistics for Stockton Trading Standards & Licensing Service as follows:

1) Reducing the Availability and Supply of Tobbaco Products to children.

Test purchases to identify retailers selling cigarettes to children under the legal age had reduced significantly in 2011/12 because of a loss of external funding. A similar number of prosecutions were achieved due to the targeted work of Trading Standards.

The cost of an attempted test purchase was approximately 100. The typical cost of a prosecution was 2,500 but the Council was unlikely to recoup full costs as the courts would consider the impact on the seller when recovering costs.

Prosecution cases had been strengthened since 2005 when training for shop staff had been available. A Cabinet decision determined that prosecutions were pursued when it was in the public interest to do so and not purely to recover costs.

Members asked if training could be imposed, however as the sale of tobacco was not licensed the way alcohol was then as it currently stood it could not. Members requested that some kind of formality be put in place to mirror the procedure for alcohol where staff had to sign that they had undergone and understood training related to selling tobacco to underage children.

2) Reducing the Supply of Smuggled and Counterfeit Products.

The Committee was informed that the HM Revenues and Customs(HMRC) was responsible for seizing illicit cigarettes which were brought into the country without paying the appropriate duties. Trading Standards were responsible for seizing counterfeit cigarettes. The majority of illicit cigarettes found in Stockton were those smuggled into the country without paying duties or cheap whites(brands not available in this country) which were sold mainly from 'Tab Houses'. The remainder of the stock would be distributed at other premises or vehicles. Trading Standards worked closely with the Police and HMRC in dealing with this problem.

Members heard that if the public were bringing tobacco into the country in large amounts and were taken to court they would have to prove that the quantity they had was only for personal use. To bring about a prosecution, sales would have to be observed.

3) Reducing Tobacco Promotion.

Members heard that point of sale checks were incorporated into routine checks and no problems were found during a specific project looking at compliance with point of sales rules in April 2011.

It was noted that the HMRC mainly focused on revenue issues and not those relating to health issues. There was currently a review of the regional HMRC teams which could result in the disbanding of the local HMRC Teesside based team. HMRC would try to focus on more serious offenders and the Committee heard that it could take several complaints for the HMRC to do anything where smaller offenders were involved. Where the HMRC had seized stock or raided premises, offenders were not always deterred from supplying at a later date.
HCS
24/12
The Scrutiny Officer proposed that Environmental Health and the Enforcement team provide statistics in relation to the Review of Tobacco Control and that a respresentative from the organistion FRESH and HMRC attend a future committee meeting.
HCS
25/12
No update.

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