Dalkeith Tesco escapes a festive ban

A 48-hour ban preventing Tesco’s Dalkeith branch from selling alcohol has been suspended after the supermarket chain took its case to Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday.

Midlothian Licensing Board had voted on Thursday in favour of the ban after it heard that the store had failed a police-supervised test purchase operation.

The board considered a week-long ban, but chairman Councillor Jackie Aitchison used his casting vote to reject this.

The 48-hour suspension would have meant the Hardengreen supermarket was unable to sell wines, beers and spirits from 10am on Friday.

But the eleventh-hour legal action resulted in alcohol sales resuming at 3pm on Friday. It is expected that a court hearing into the board’s decision will not go ahead until well into 2012.

Midlothian police inspector Neil Simpson told the board that July’s test purchase at Tesco and other premises was carried out in light of youth disorder problems in the Bonnyrigg area.

Tesco agent Jack Cummins said the company operated a “platimum” standard training system for staff. He said this was the first time in 12 years the store had come to the attention of the board and the branch passed a test purchase a few weeks later.

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