The Council had been awarded the Touchstone Award at the Annual Conference of the Trading Standards Institute in June and the winners attended another presentation at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London, on 22 November, where the award was re-presented by chairman of the BHC, Christopher Jewitt.
BHC member Robert Grice, who has driven the Touchstone Award from inception to presentation, commented: “Birmingham’s entry was first class. It detailed a well-planned, long- term exercise which is being regularly monitored to measure its success.”
The winning entry was received on behalf of Birmingham City Council by head of trading standards, Sajeela Naseer.
It featured an exercise managed by Trading Standards officer Gary Singh, who has developed an effective long-term enforcement project targeting the significant Asian jewellery community in Birmingham, where un-hallmarked and under-carated goods are commonly found.
Previous enforcement activity has driven a significant improvement in the level of compliance. Two further authorities, Wandsworth Council and the London Borough of Croydon, were Highly Commended for their entries.
Birmingham City Council is the first to receive this award, which consists of a silver plate, bearing the inscription, ‘The British Hallmarking Council, Touchstone Award, sponsored by the Assay Offices of the UK for the most innovative initiative in relation to hallmarking’.
The four UK assay offices – London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh – all funded the initiative.