1 in 4 Inverness Retailers Fail Underage Cigarette Test Purchases
16th April 2018
Highland Council's Trading Standards team is reporting poor findings from the cigarette test purchase programme it recently carried out in the Inverness area.
During the recent exercise, while a total of 10 retailers correctly refused to sell cigarettes to a young test purchase volunteer who is under the minimum age of 18, three businesses sold cigarettes to the volunteer.
David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager said: "It is disappointing that these three retail premises sold cigarettes to a young volunteer. However, trading standards officers are working with the businesses concerned to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. We are pleased that the majority of the local shops that we checked did the right thing and refused to sell. Businesses should ensure that both they and their staff are aware of the law when selling cigarettes."
Since 1 April 2017, it has been legal requirement for all businesses selling tobacco, cigarette papers or e-cigarettes to have an Age Verification Policy in place and it is an offence to run a business selling these products without an Age Verification Policy.
An Age Verification Policy is the agreed steps that have been put in place by a retailer to ensure that any customer requesting these products who appears to be under 25 is asked for proof of age. Retailers should keep a record of the Age Verification Policy they have agreed and should make sure that all staff are familiar with this.
David MacKenzie added: "We would advise all businesses that they can seek further advice from our Service to ensure they prevent sales to underage persons from occurring wherever possible."
Trading Standards regularly carry out test purchase exercises and the process is very strictly controlled to protect the welfare of young volunteers and at the same time be fair to the businesses involved. Any retailer that sells cigarettes or any other age restricted products to an underage volunteer may receive a warning, a fine or even a period of imprisonment. Furthermore, if they repeat the offence, they can be banned from selling tobacco.
Further information on test purchasing can be found at:
The Highland Council has today (Tuesday 11 December 2018) announced significant progress in the quality of collection and reporting on the performance of it's town centres through the release of new Town Centre Health Check "Story Maps". The maps contain a huge amount of data on many aspects.
A Highland Council employee, nominated by the tenants she works with, has scooped a national award. Lorna Simpson from Wick has been a Tenant Participation Officer with The Highland Council for the past ten years, covering Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.
Highland Council's work to continuously improve Tenant Participation in the region has been recognised by the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Members of the Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have welcomed the recognition received by Housing Staff and commended their ongoing engagement activities.
Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have approved the first draft ‘Highland Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan' for 2019 - 2024 which will be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of this year. The plan provides an analysis of homelessness in the region and the capacity to deliver rapid rehousing within the current patterns of housing need and demand.
Welfare staff within Highland Council's UK Award winning Benefits and Welfare Reform Team have decided to forego their office Secret Santa tradition and instead donate to Blythswood's Highland Foodbank this Christmas. Sheila McKandie, Highland Council's Benefits and Welfare Manager explained:"On a daily basis we work with the dedicated team at Blythswood Highland Foodbank directing people to them who are in urgent need.
The latest outlook for future housing delivery and school roll forecasts across Highland has been announced by the Highland Council today (Tuesday 4 December 2018). The joint publication of the Housing Land Audit and School Roll Forecast provides up to date forecasts for housing delivery and school rolls across the Highland Council area and will be used to monitor, implement and share details of the actions needed to support future housing growth.
Since the referendum decision to leave the European Union, The Highland Council has considered and made representations on a number of issues which have potential implications for the Highland economy and Highland communities. EU funding has brought hundreds of millions of pounds of assistance to the region over the past 40 years which has been critical to the region's growth.
Last week's Resources Committee noted the positive movement in the Council's revenue budget from a projected year end overspend in quarter one of £5m down to £2.2 in quarter two. This has been assisted by concerted effort across services and enhanced control of vacancies and all expenditure.
Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council will be meeting with Scottish Government Ministers in Parliament today, 29 November 2018 to discuss a number of issues of importance to the Highlands. In the morning she will be meeting with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to discuss community benefit, and digital connectivity in the Highlands.
Following the announcement on 28 November 2018 by Thai Union that they will close at the end of the year their Edinburgh Salmon plant in Dingwall, a multi-agency response to support the staff has commenced. Known as the PACE initiative (Partnership for Continuing Employment) The Highland Council, together with local public sector agencies provide free, impartial advice to staff on dealing with the practical and emotional sides of redundancy, including support to get a new job.
[Printer Friendly Version]