§ Mr. John Grant:
I am advised by the Health and Safety Commission that in some areas the fire brigade takes full responsibility for licensing petroleum stores. In others, consumer protection departments or trading standards departments are responsible for the issue of licences but may call upon the fire brigade to inspect and advise to determine the conditions which may appropriately be attached to licences, to ensure that petrol is kept safely; and from time to time, as may be necessary, to ascertain whether the licensing conditions and/or the provisions of the relevant legislation are being observed.
An accurate estimate of the total cost of these operations is not available and can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. But a recent survey has shown that the costs of enforcement and administration of the petroleum licensing provisions of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 in respect of all but four of the 67 first-tier local authorities are roughly estimated at a total of £2¼million per annum. The only charge to the owner of the store is the fee for a licence which costs per annum, £10 for up to 2,500 litres, £15 for amounts over 2,500 litres, and up to 50,000 litres, and £30 for more than 50,000 litres.