THURROCK Council’s trading standards team is one of only three in the country to receive government funding to intercept unsafe goods in ports.
On Thursday (8 October) evening, members of the council’s Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard about the team’s work from Gavin Dennett, is Environmental Health and Trading Standards Manager.
Southampton and Suffolk – for Felixstowe – are the other two port areas receiving central funding.
Mr Dennett explained that this was the third year the National Trading Standards Board fully funded the work because of the size, scale and risk that border points present in terms of the volume of unsafe goods coming through.
Thurrock Council received Â£55,000 this year which pays for staff and the necessary testing of products.
Then sort of goods involved include skin-lightening creams which can be carcinogenic, toys and electrical goods which all fail to meet safety laws and regulations.
Cllr Roy Jones, chair of the committee, said afterwards: “The Thames and the borough’s two major ports – Tilbury and London Gateway – play a pivotal role in the nation’s economy.
“It is good to know the government and the National Trading Standards Board recognise the importance of the work done by our trading standards people – work we couldn’t do without this specific funding.
“This shows how Thurrock Council is helping keep unsafe and sometimes truly dangerous goods off the streets of our nation.
“We all owe the team a debt of thanks for their hard work.”
A report to the committee said that since April 2013 9,809 carcinogenic skin lightening creams have been intercepted at the two ports and the council is awaiting confirmation a further 136,800 units.
In the 2014/15 year the team prevented 16 consignments of unsafe goods entering the country including 10,206 unsafe products. They have also identified 77 non-compliant consignments including a total of 499,757 products.
In most of these cases the matter was referred to the local trading standards teams of the business responsible for importing them.