22.09.23 – Illegal Vapes in Staffordshire, Interactive Heritage Trail in Stoke on Trent
Written by Hitmix Local News on 22 September 2023
An ongoing operation to tackle the sale of illegal vapes in Staffordshire has made seizures worth £18,161.
The raids, at four premises in Newcastle and Uttoxeter, resulted in the seizure of 1,397 illegal single use nicotine inhaling vapes.
Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers, supported by Staffordshire Police and Newcastle Borough Council licensing team, made the seizures on Monday 18 September.
The raids were part of Operation Joseph, a National Trading Standards initiative to tackle the supply and sale of illegal vapes and e-cigarettes. Officers seized some oversized products offering up to 14ml capacity, with an estimated 9,000 puffs, which is seven times the legal limit.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Tackling illegal vapes remains a priority for our Trading Standards service and we’re very pleased with the seizures in this latest operation.
“Illegal and oversized vaping products are becoming increasingly popular but can be harmful to people’s health, which is why we’re working hard to remove them from the streets. We are also seeing an increase in the sale of them to young people, which is a worrying trend and something we are keen to stamp out.
“We do rely on intelligence from the public about the sales of illegal products, so anyone with information should call the confidential helpline on 01785 330356.”
In April of this year, the Department of Health and Social Care announced proposals and £3 million to crack down on the sales of e-cigarettes to under 18s. The proposals are supporting local Trading Standards services, with enforcement activities including test purchasing and to check products are compliant.
In the last financial year (April 2022 to March 2023), Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service have uncovered more than 9,000 illegal vapes. This financial year so far, the team have already seized almost 8,000 vapes.
An interactive heritage trail highlighting Stoke-on-Trent’s rich history is being developed in the city.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has launched the Living Heritage City Trail spanning seven culturally-significant locations between Stoke and Hanley.
The two-year pilot scheme, which has been funded with £100,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), aims to showcase Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage to visitors, local residents, schools and community groups and highlight the city as a cultural destination.
Starting at the Spode Works site and ending at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, the self-led trail takes around one-hour to complete on foot. Other locations featuring in the trail include Stoke Minster Church, Winton Square, Beresford Street, Hanley Park and St Mark’s Church in Shelton.
Participants will be able to take in each of the sites with a physical or digital map which highlights the historical relevance of each location.
The final heritage trail will be launched in March 2025 but people are now being encouraged to walk the route set out in this pilot phase and provide their feedback.
Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “The Living Heritage City Trail will connect the archives and collections of our museums to our buildings and communities in Stoke and Hanley.
“We want to work in partnership with local communities, organisations and our partners to develop this trail and showcase the rich history of the city.
“This is a pilot scheme which is very much in its early stages, so we are now looking for feedback. It’s a self-guided trail, so I would encourage everyone to do it in their own time, tell us their thoughts and share their stories.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how this project develops over the next couple of years and eventually launching the final trail in 2025.”
Maps are available at distribution points along the route including The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Spode Museum, Stoke Library and the Civic Centre. A digital version can also be downloaded from the website.
For more information about the trail, or leave your feedback, visit: www.visitstoke.co.uk/livingheritagecity.