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Issue:- Thursday, 6 October 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 1.

Heavy fine for West Kirby ice cream sellers

THE owners of an ice cream concession in West Kirby have been fined £10,000 by Wirral Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to 10 breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations.

It was on 29 June 2015 when officers from Wirral Council's Environmental Health team carried out a routine food hygiene inspection of Turners Ice Cream, Marine Lake Building, South Parade, West Kirby.

During this visit, officers found dirty conditions, dog hairs throughout, evidence of mouse activity, and other poor practices. The business closed voluntarily due to the imminent risk of injury to health.

The premises opened 2 days later when the imminent risk of injury to health had been removed and officers served the company, Reliance Marine (Wirral) Limited, with several food hygiene Improvement Notices in order to secure compliance with food safety legislation.

On 10 August 2016, the company pleaded guilty to 10 offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 which included; failure to protect food against contamination and failure to ensure that all equipment with which food comes into contact was effectively cleaned.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until 28 September when the Company received a fine of £10,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £2,940.42 to the Council and a victim surcharge of £120.

Cllr Bernie Mooney, Cabinet member for Environment, said:- "It was clear to officers that the conditions and practices within this premises posed a risk to the health of Wirral residents and also visitors to Wirral as the premises is located in a very popular tourist location. Whilst Wirral Council supports local businesses, the conditions and practices found at this premises were totally unacceptable and posed a real risk to their customers. In order to protect consumers, officers had no choice but to take formal action to deal with these serious breaches of legislation. We have a responsibility to make our high streets healthier, safer and fairer for consumers and businesses."

Southport poised to take lead in national Tyre Safety Month campaign

OCTOBER is Tyre Safety Month and motorists in Southport will be at the forefront of an ambitious campaign by a local garage to take hundreds of dangerous and illegal tyres off the region's roads.

Protyre Southport will support Tyre Safety Month, which is organised and promoted by national tyre safety charity, TyreSafe, by aiming to perform free checks on around 2,500 tyres, which could result in the removal of over 600 dangerous and illegal tyres

The key message to motorists in Southport this Tyre Safety Month is 'Don't chance it, check it!', which is particularly important as data by TyreSafe, indicates that approximately 1 in 4 cars are likely to have at least 1 tyre at or below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm.

As well as compromising a vehicle's ability to accelerate, corner and brake, motorists could face a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per illegal tyre.

Paul Hutchinson, manager of Protyre Southport, located at Scarisbrick New Road, said:- "As an established and trusted local business we feel it's really important to fully support Tyre Safety Month and take the lead in promoting the importance of tyres and tyre safety to our community. People often check things like their oil or windscreen washer levels, but we want to help educate people about also regularly checking their tyre tread depths and pressure. Tyres are the only part of a car in contact with the road's surface, so they are the main factor that is the difference between stopping in an emergency or having an accident. As we approach winter and the roads become cold and damp, tyres will play an increasingly important role in keeping us safe. Quite simply, a worn tyre has very little grip and is an accident waiting to happen."

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, comments:- "TyreSafe is grateful to Protyre Southport for supporting Tyre Safety Month so enthusiastically. When it comes to tyres, our message to motorists in Southport is clear, don't chance it, check it, and ensure tyres are safe, legal and winter ready."

Motorists wishing to take advantage of the free safety check are welcome to call into Protyre Southport at their convenience.

For more information on Tyre Safety Month, visit:- TyreSafe.Org.UK.

Arrests over suspected £15m Tax fraud

6 people have been arrested in connection with a suspected £15 million Tax fraud involving restaurants and wholesalers believed to be laundering money using offshore accounts and companies. More than 80 officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) searched three residential and 5 business addresses in Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside and London. Cash, computers, business and personal records were seized during the operation.  The arrests were made as a result of an investigation into the Tax arrangements of various businesses, suspected Tax fraud and associated money laundering.

Andrew Sackey, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:- "The vast majority pay the Tax they owe. But no 1 is beyond our reach and we will act against those suspected of hiding money offshore.  Businesses committing Tax Fraud steal from the public purse and have an unfair advantage over honest competitors. If anyone has information about suspected Tax fraud, please contact the HMRC 24 hour hotline on:- 0800 59 5000."

The operation was supported by a cash detection dog team. The people arrested have been interviewed and released on bail pending further enquiries.

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