THE team at East Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards department have notched up two notable successes in the last month.

Their first came after joining forces with a leading UK charity to ensure that counterfeit goods seized by the team are distributed to people in need.

Working with The National Police Aid Convoy charity, the team have donated large quantities of seized clothing which, rather than being destroyed, will now be debranded and distributed to communities in Africa.

A group of police officers formed the charity in 1993 which works with various organisations to deliver aid to refugee camps. The charity has flourished and now delivers emergency and development aid.

Nearer home, Trading Standards officials are also pleased that the results of vigorous campaigning on underage tobacco sales seems to have worked.

A successful test purchase exercise was carried out throughout East Ayrshire involving 16-year-old volunteers who attempted to purchase cigarettes from 21 local retailers.

It was part of ongoing work protecting the health and wellbeing of children and young people by educating and advising our retailers on preventing under age sales of tobacco products.

This work appears to be paying dividends after every one of the 21 retailers randomly visited asked for proof of age and refused to sell tobacco to the young volunteers. While this was encouraging, retailers should not be complacent.

They should continue to employ effective policies such as Challenge 25, where anyone who appears to be under 25 is asked to show ID to prove they are over 18 before they are sold tobacco products.

If you suspect a retailer is selling tobacco products to anyone under 18, e-mail or call 01563 576602.