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19 November 2020 14:33

PS5 Hughes

The video will start in 8 Cancel Latest Teesside headlines straight to your inbox Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Middlesbrough's TJ Hughes store has closed after a council dished out £17,000 worth of fines for ignoring lockdown rules. The authority said an unnamed department store was issued with several Fixed Penalty Notices and a prohibition notice for failing to close as required under covid-19 regulations. All non-essential retailers were required by law to close between November 5 and December 2, as a national lockdown was imposed by Boris Johnson. Middlesbrough Council has declined to name the store, but Teesside Live understands that it is TJ Hughes in Captain Cook Square, which has remained open throughout the lockdown so far. A sign on the shuttered doors on Thursday read: "Due to covid restrictions, TJ Hughes have decided to close until lockdown ends." A post on its store Facebook page, which pointed customers to shop online at its website, read: "We have voluntarily made the decision to close the store until further decisions are made." Teesside Live has attempted to contact the business for further comment.

Middlesbrough Council said the department store in question has now complied with the notices and will no longer trade while the restrictions are in place. The covid-19 regulations governing businesses are designed to discourage people from making unnecessary journeys and gathering in large numbers. Middlesbrough's covid infection rate remains alarmingly high and the council is taking action to protect public health. Last week, Teesside Live reported how two businesses in Darlington were issued with prohibition orders to close. Tuff Gym in the town refused to close, with defiant staff telling police and council officers it would remain open.

Carpetright in the town was also ordered to close, and did so. THE department store fined £17,000 after ignoring lockdown rules can be revealed as TJ Hughes in Middlesbrough. The store was issued with several FPNs and a prohibition notice by Middlesbrough Council for failing to close as required under Covid-19 regulations. The council hasn't confirmed which store has closed but the Northern Echo now undertsands it is TJ Hughes. On Facebook yesterday the store said: "We have voluntarily made the decision to close the store until further decisions are made. We will be back with some fantastic offers very soon to share with you." READ MORE: Covid: Middlesbrough department store fined £17,000 and forced to close after ignoring lockdown rules The business is understood to have now complied with the notices and will no longer trade while the restrictions are in place. It's understood local authorities in other areas of the country are also pursuing enforcement action against the company. Middlesbrough Council said Covid-19 regulations governing businesses are designed to discourage people from making unnecessary journeys and gathering in large numbers. Middlesbrough's Covid infection rate is alarmingly high and the Council is taking action to protect public health. Four town centre phone retailers have also received £1,000 fixed penalty notices. Although the businesses concerned are permitted to operate collection services, they were observed selling directly from their premises. Head of Public Protection Judith Hedgley said: "We have found a number of shops trading which are not essential retailers. In some cases they have tried to get around the restrictions by selling or claiming to sell a small amount of food, medicines or items that are actually essential. "Some shops have even started to sell such items like face coverings then claiming they are essential on this basis. The laws are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Middlesbrough's infection rate is among the highest in the country. We must all follow the restrictions to stop the spread." Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "Our town needs as short a period of lockdown as possible. The longer restrictions are in place the more damage they will cause. This is about protecting public health and also people's livelihoods and futures. "To everyone who is doing the right thing - thank you. To anyone ignoring the rules please think about the impact your actions have on Middlesbrough. Council officers won't hesitate to take enforcement action." Under the current restrictions only essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores and off-licences should be open, together with other permitted retail such as garden centres. Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores and shops selling electronic goods and mobile phones should be closed other than for click-and-collect. Middlesbrough Council declined to comment on the name of the department store.