Some councils are more sensible than others. They will often have a pretty individual take on rules and regs doled out by central government.

I was recently contacted by a retailer who wishes to remain anonymous. A visit from trading standards with a young person in tow led to an illegal sale. Member of staff had a previously blameless record.

Coincidentally, that same day an old notebook fell open to reveal a call I had back in March from Jayesh Patel, who runs Classic News in Northampton. He had rung about that ever-popular subject of splitting multipacks. But in passing he told me about an NFRN meeting he had attended and the subject of underage sales brought up by a Nottingham retailer.

A woman and a 15-year-old came into the store and the kid tried to buy some booze. Staff asked her age. She said 15, so they refused to serve her.

Later the retailer got a letter with a warning that staff should have asked for ID. It didn’t seem to count that the sale was refused.

“If the girl had lied and said 18, then the staff would have asked for ID,” maintains Jayesh.

” Since contracts are drawn up by lawyers they cover every conceivable angle. And because they are legal documents no one except another lawyer is going to 
truly understand them “