East London council serves enforcement notice on major high street retailer
High street retailer B&M might be known for their bargains, but definitely not for following the government’s coronavirus rules.
Last month, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council issued B&M stores in the borough a Community Protection Warning Notice along with other high street retailers, for failing to enforce the wearing of face coverings in stores.
However, since the notice was issued, the council has had no direct communication with B&M and council enforcement officers have continued to observe the stores failing to ask customers to wear a face covering whilst shopping.
As a result, the council has now issued B&M with a Community Protection Notice that legally requires them to ‘stop applying a policy of non-enforcement of the requirement to wear a face covering and to stop allowing access to their stores to any person who is not wearing a face covering’, unless those persons have a legal exemption. The notice will also require B&M to put in place a system of surveillance to ensure face coverings are worn on their premises.
Council enforcement officers will continue to monitor the stores to ensure they are taking all reasonable steps to comply with the notice and failure to do so could result in B&M facing a criminal prosecution.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “The welfare of our residents is our number one priority and this is why we have been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of our whole community. We continue to work with businesses across the borough and high street retailers are not exempt – they have a duty to keep their customers safe.
“We’ve made it clear from day one that we will enforce on any business, big or small, if they are not following the rules and we are doing just that with B&M. I hope they listen and act on what we have asked them to.”