Agenda and minutes

Tyne and Wear Trading Standards Joint Committee
Thursday, 22nd September, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Whickham Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Sonia Stewart 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 316 KB

The Joint Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.


RESOLVED -   (i)       That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2016 be agreed as a correct record.

                          (ii)      That Councillor Jill Fletcher be noted as the Sunderland City Council nomination for Vice-Chair of this Committee.


Report and Statistical Return for the Quarter Ending June 2016 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council


A report was presented to Committee to update on the work of the Joint Metrology Laboratory for the quarter ending June 2016.


The Laboratory has continued with its work in preparing students for their Diploma in Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards exams.


Five bath seats have been tested for strength following complaints from Newcastle City Council residents.  Samples of paint from playground equipment have been tested for heavy metals.  Of the 5 samples submitted, 1 sample failed with an excess lead content in the paint.


The laboratory has created a rig and a bath in order to test personal flotation devices such as rings and arm bands.


Some electrical shutters were tested for a Sunderland consumer in relation to electrical safety where they had paid £18,000 and didn’t think they were safe.  On testing the equipment it was found to comply with the relevant safety standards.


RESOLVED - That the information in the report be noted.



Friends Against Scams pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council.


The Committee received a report to inform them of the friends against scams initiative introduced by the National Trading Standards Scams Team.


The National Trading Standards Scams Team delivered training to officers from all of the Tyne and Wear authorities in relation to the new initiative.  The training has been developed to help us deliver the key messages to community groups in order to identify people in the community who can help those affected by scams.


The National Team have provided a toolkit so that an holistic guide is promoted and used by local authorities in their work with consumers who are at risk of scams.  It can be used as guidance for anyone who deals with scam victims ie police, carers, charities etc.


The training is also being offered to post office sorting staff so that they can identify if a person is receiving a lot of scam mail so that they can draw it to the attention of the authorities and make sure that the victims can be identified and receive relevant support.


Other services have been identified who may benefit from the training, including Age UK, Henshaw’s Society and Local Lunch Clubs and Live at Home Scheme wardens.


RESOLVED - That the information in the report be noted.


Safety of Laser Pointers pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council

Additional documents:


The Committee received an update on the response provided nationally and locally to the safety issues around laser pointers.


The misuse of laser pointers reported in the press has generated public concern over the safety of these devices.


Reject laser components from professional produces are being bought by manufacturers of novelty laser products without appropriate quality control and compliance with safety standards.  Recently the low costs of the lasers has made them popular as toys among children and young adults which has led to the lasers being used in way that are not appropriate.


Officers have purchased some products to have tested and will produce a report to BIS by the end of the year.  It is recognised that this is an area which needs a response and the options to stop products from being sold if not licensed would be a potential option.  Tests are still underway and once these tests have been completed the results will be shared with the Committee.


RESOLVED -             That the current position be noted. 




Licensing Act 2003 and Trading Standards' Role pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council


The Committee received a report to provide an update on the continuing role of the trading standards service under the Licensing Act 2003.


All businesses, individuals and organisations who want to sell or supply alcohol authority must have a licence issued by the local licensing authority.


Every license application which is submitted to the local authority is in turn circulated to responsible authorities for comments.  Trading Standards is a responsible authority, others of which include, Police, Fire Service, Primary Care Trust, Planning and Licensing Authorities and Environmental Health.


Trading Standards would provide comments on any new application or variation to existing license received if they think there are conditions which could be added to the license in order that the premises can be run and meet the licensing objectives effectively.


All responsible authorities can make an application to the licensing authority to review a premises licence or club premises certificate.  Representation must relate to a particular premises and must be relevant to the promotion of the licensing objectives which are:


·         The prevention of crime and disorder

·         Public Safety

·         The prevention of children from harm

·         The prevention of public nuisance


Review would be instigated by trading standards when there have been sales of alcohol or even tobacco to an underage volunteer.


The Licensing or Regulatory Committee for each council can hear the application for a review.  There are various options open to the committee in relation to what action should be taken in relation to the licence.


·         Decide that no action is necessary to promote the licensing objectives

·         Modify or add conditions to the licence

·         Exclude a licensable activity from the licence

·         Remove the Designated Premises Supervisor

·         Suspend the licence for a period, not exceeding three months

·         Revoke the licence.


RESOLVED -That the information contained in the report was noted by the Committee.



Extension of Notified Body Status to the North East pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Communities and Environment, Gateshead Council


A report was presented to the Committee of the proposal to merge the existing Notified Body 0520 Tyne and Wear Trading Standards with Northumberland and Durham, the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2000 and (Various) Measuring Instruments Regulations 2006.


The proposal is to create a regional Notified body encompassing all North East Public Protection Partnership constituents, based upon the existing shared arrangements in the Tyne and Wear Notified Body system.  Lead authority is to remain as Gateshead.  Other Notified bodies in the UK actively market their services and are effectively in competition with us in this respect as there is no barrier to conducting such work outside the Authority area.  There is also competition in this field from private industry; there is currently pressure on the Government to open this activity up to local authorities to allow them to compete for services. 


This proposal will allow Tyne and Wear to charge for work in Durham and Northumberland when their officers are not available to fulfil their obligations.


In order to facilitate any extra administrative costs that may be incurred by the Metrology Laboratory a small annual fee will be charged to the other authorities that are not within the current membership, this will decrease the unit amount spent on administration and audit fees to the current Tyne and Wear authorities.


RESOLVED - That the proposed changes be noted.