TWO Pendle shops have been stripped of their licences to sell alcohol and cigarettes after concerns over illegal tobacco and selling alcohol to children.

Council licensing committee members revoked premises licences for Premier stores in Leeds Road, Nelson and Knotts Lane, Colne, at a meeting earlier this week.

At Knotts Lane, there have been twice times over a two year period where alcohol has been sold to minors in test purchases, while several other incidents of children successfully buying booze from the store have been reported to police.

In April 2017, a 14-year-old girl successfully bought alcohol from the shop as part of a joint operation between police and Pendle Council.

Later the same month, two 15-year-olds were unsuccessful in their attempts to buy alcohol.

Then in October last year, a 16-year-old was able to buy four cans of Strongbow without any challenge from staff as part of an operation run jointly by Lancashire Trading Standards and Pendle Council.

The latest test purchase followed concerns raised by a care manager at a nearby children's home that vulnerable residents were buying alcohol.

At the Leeds Road store, trading standards and police officers carried out a routine inspection in November after previously having received information about the illegal sale of tobacco.

But staff would not engage with officers and were abusive and threatening when challenged.

The officers left without conducting an inspection after a group of men arrived at the premises and tried to intimidate them, as well as blocking their exit from the shop.

Finally, at Premier in North Valley Road, Colne, the designated premises supervisor has been removed after the sale of alcohol to children.

Sohail Iqbal Pirzada had been DPS since September 2014 but was stripped of this position by committee members.

In October, an unsupervised 17-year-old had sold alcohol to a 16-year-old as part of an operation carried out by Lancashire Trading Standards and Pendle Council.

The decisions were taken after all three applications to the council had been supported by