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Town hall issues B&M with legal order over face masks

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 October 2020

The council has issued B&M with a legal order demanding it enforce face masks in its Barking and Dagenham stores. Picture: Google

The council has issued B&M with a legal order demanding it enforce face masks in its Barking and Dagenham stores. Picture: Google

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The town hall has issued a retail giant with a legal order demanding it tells customers to wear face masks.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas GriegerCllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas Grieger

Barking and Dagenham Council dished out the community protection notice to B&M after its officers spotted staff at the discount retailer failing to ask customers to wear coverings in spite of a prior warning.

The local authority issued notices to B&M and other retailers in September for failing to enforce the measure, but it reports that since then Barking and Dagenham has heard nothing back from the chain.

Cllr 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.

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“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.”

The community protection notice legally requires B&M 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 they are legally exempt.

The notice also requires B&M to put in place a system of surveillance to make sure coverings are worn on their premises.

B&M has stores in Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, Whalebone Lane South and Merrielands Retail Park.

The town hall says its officers will continue to monitor the stores to ensure they take “all reasonable steps” to comply with the notice. Failure to do so could result in B&M facing a criminal prosecution.

B&M did not respond to a request for comment.


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