East London council cracks the whip on high street retailers not following the government’s coronavirus rules
Barking and Dagenham Council has continued its engagement with businesses operating in the borough and has recently served notices on a number of high street retailers encouraging them to take all reasonable steps to ensure that members of the public are wearing face coverings and social distancing whilst shopping. Retailers are sending mixed messages to customers by allowing entry without a face covering.
On the evening of Thursday 24 September and morning of Friday 25 September, council enforcement officers issued Community Protection Warning Notices (CPWNs) to Lidl on Longbridge Road, Barking, Sainsburys on High Road, Chadwell Heath, Morrisons on Wood Lane, Dagenham and the three B&M stores in the borough.
The CPWNs were issued following complaints from a number of residents who made the council aware that the stores have not been enforcing the legal requirements for customers to wear face coverings while inside each of the shops unless exempt.
In each case, council enforcement officers visited the stores and witnessed a high number of people not wearing face coverings and have now issued the CPWNs that require each store to take up a number of actions.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are not following the rules set by the government, we will come after you.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have always put the safety of our residents first and we will continue to do so and won’t stand for businesses flouting the rules and putting profits before people.
“I would like to say thank you to the residents of Barking and Dagenham on working with us on this.”
The council invites those retailers to work closely with it, to introduce effective entry policies, and to address the overwhelming concerns of its customers, and of the whole community. Failure to comply with the CPWN’s may lead to the issue of a formal Community Protection Notice, breach of which is a criminal offence punishable with an unlimited fine.
If you know of a business not following the government’s regulations, please report them online at www.lbbd.gov.uk/covidabuse.