CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Councillor Malcolm Chandler
The autumn period continues to be a particularly busy time with much going on at present. Across the county, all councils are deciding whether to be part of the Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority.
To date, five councils have considered this and all have determined to go with the opportunities this proposal offers.
SHDC’s Transformation Programme, which will see digital solutions making life easier for residents whilst reducing time and increasing performance, is progressing positively.
Our licensing team continues to deal with the illicit trade of smuggled and fake branded goods.
One of the illegal activities happening across Lincolnshire is the organised criminal trade of smuggled or fake cigarettes.
With the price of genuine brands it is understandable that smokers might consider buying fake or smuggled packets.
However, fakes have been found to contain sawdust, asbestos and even human waste to bulk up the tobacco, do you really want to be smoking that?
It is a legal safety requirement that all tobacco products sold in the United Kingdom must have a written health warning on the packet in English.
This must be accompanied by a prescribed pictorial health warning to inform people of the detrimental health effects of smoking.
All cigarettes sold in the United Kingdom must comply with safety standard BS EN 16156. This requires that cigarettes must self-extinguish if left unattended, a safety feature that has been implemented to try and prevent accidental fires from occurring.
Non-compliant unsafe cigarettes can be a fire hazard, as sadly seen in a fatal house blaze in Spalding in 2012.
Smuggled legitimate brands are not a victimless crime either. The tax on a packet of legitimate cigarettes costing £9.35 is £7.03.
When these brands are sold for close to £5 per packet, the loss to everyone in terms of taxation runs into billions of pounds per year.
This places a greater burden on us all whilst seriously affecting the business of legitimate traders, so please consider this when buying.