A Smethwick shop found with illicit tobacco on the premises has had its alcohol licence revoked after councillors said it had failed to learn the lessons of a previous breach of the law.

The Tamasha store on Cape Hill, Smethwick , can no longer sell beer, wine or spirits after Trading Standards officers found the illegal tobacco during an inspection.

A report to members of Sandwell Council’s licensing committee said this was the second time the shop had broken licensing laws following a breach in 2015 when its alcohol permit was suspended for six weeks and additional conditions were imposed by the authority.

Details of the case were heard by councillors in a closed session after council officers asked for the press and public be excluded to ensure any future criminal prosecutions were not prejudiced.

The Tamasha store on Cape Hill, Smethwick.
The Tamasha store on Cape Hill, Smethwick.
 

But giving its decision in public, the committee outlined its reasons for revoking the licence.

Cllr Bob Piper, said: “This review follows on from a review in 2015 which was considered serious enough on that occasion to lead to a suspension of the licence and number of stringent conditions attached to the licence as well as the removal of the designated premises supervisor (DPS).

“We have heard that apparently the licence holder was not aware of some of the conditions or was aware and decided to ignore those conditions such as the staff training records - which were almost non-existent - and CCTV which didn’t appear to be working.

“All of these were considered to be serious matters on their own, irrespective of the issues around the existence of illicit tobacco on the premises and the sale of illicit tobacco brought forward to us today by Trading Standards.

“We have heard that the sales of illicit tobacco happened when the licence holder was not on the premises and was conducted by unpaid and untrained staff but again, in itself, that represents a serious weakness of the management.”

Addressing arguments by the store’s legal advisor, he added:  “It has been suggested that we could remove the DPS and possibly suspend the licence but it has to be said that we have already tried that as remedies.

“So it doesn't really seem to us that those lessons were learned from the hearing in 2015.

“Given the weight of evidence heard from Trading Standards, we have decided to revoke the licence and are persuaded by the argument that the premises licence holder may be engaged in the sale of illegal products from the premises.”

The store has 21 days to appeal the decision.