Furniture store fined for breaching lockdown restrictions on two occasions

A Wolverhampton furniture store, which was caught flouting coronavirus restrictions twice, has been fined £1,000 by the city council.

The sole director of Household Furniture Centres trading as Suites and Beds, in Park Lane, Fallings Park, has also been given a separate fixed penalty of £1,000 in a personal capacity for failing to comply with a prohibition notice. 

The business was initially observed by environmental health officers allowing customers inside the premises on 10  January.

As a non-essential retailer, it is only permitted to offer click and collect or home delivery. On that occasion, officers served a prohibition notice on the business and warned that tougher action would follow if the notice was breached.

Despite assurances from staff that they would comply with the law, last Saturday (16 January), council officers witnessed the business again allowing customers inside.

This resulted in the council issuing the fixed penalty fines to both the business itself and the sole director for his personal role in breaching the prohibition notice.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment, said: “We know it has been a tough time for businesses, but it has been tough for all of us and most people are doing the right thing. It beggars belief when more than 1,000 people are dying from this killer disease every day and our NHS is stretched to the limits that businesses like this can be so selfish as to put people at risk and think the law does not apply to them.

“The national lockdown restrictions are there for a reason, they exist to protect us all from catching and spreading Covid. We will not hesitate to take action against any business we find to be breaching the restrictions.

“As seen in this case, we will also fine any director, manager or secretary of a company where we consider they have been personally responsible for breaching the regulations. We expect people in these positions to take their duties seriously and protect the public.”