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Stony Stratford latest – motion to ban public smoking postponed

STOP PRESS – from the MK News:

The motion to ban smoking in Stony Stratford will not take place at tomorrow's town council meeting (Tuesday) and will now be discussed at the next meeting in September.

As reported in last week's MK News, Councillor Paul Bartlett was planning to postpone his motion as he believes his opponents' arguments are 'flimsy' and they need more time to prepare.

Stony Stratford Town Council has now confirmed the discussion will not take place at tomorrow night's meeting, and has been moved to September 20.


My interpretation of this is that Bartlett's motion was heading for a massive defeat following the hugely successful protest on Saturday, so he has taken his ball home in a fit of pique, no doubt hoping that, come September, his opponents will have lost interest and the fuss and bad publicity he has generated for the town will have died down.

Fat chance, pal.

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Reader Comments (27)

I guess we're up for another visit to the delightful town of SS in September? I look forward to it. But I still think we should do Wales Next. The impending car ban there is just as damaging and based again on smokerphobia prejudice and not real and demonstrated health concerns. This tide of hatred against smokers must stop

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 13:58 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I'm not shocked buy this, I've seen the speeches that people made
on Saturday and when the next local elections come I think it will
be good night Mr Bartlett !

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 14:04 | Unregistered CommenterGary Rogers

Otiose, I know, but this represents another serious attempt to countermand freedom of information:

Certainly worth a look and passing on!

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 14:11 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

Postponing his next attempt until September, is a double edged sword for us. Firstly it will give Bartlett and his new army (ASH) time to regroup and rethink tactics - but what we have to fear the most, from my POV anyway, is that a second or maybe even third camp doesn't set up, somewhere in the north perhaps, where I don't think we have so many activists.

I personally will not be able to get to any meetings/events in Septemebr as I will not be in the country. All I can hope and pray, is that our massive success at SS on Saturday will encourage an even bigger showout this coming September

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 15:00 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

If the opponent's arguments are flimsy, why need "more time to prepare".? Surely the opposite and who are the opponents?

I agree that somewhere ASH is linked to this using Bartlett as the guinea pig. I keep saying that, one way or another, SHS must be brought back. Without it, things like this go nowhere.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 15:43 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I wonder what would happen if citizens attending the meeting were to demand, 100%, that matter be discussed, even if no motion was proposed? I would certainly be demanding so if I was a citizen of that place.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 15:55 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Yes, I agree that the spectre of Big Pharma front group ASH is behind this and I said so here

We cannot afford to be complacent.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 15:59 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Am I right in thinking that Stony residents have collected lots of names via petitions against this?
Surely they should be having meetings with their MP.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 16:17 | Unregistered Commentersheila

Stony Stratford businesses got so much money from smokers last Saturday that Barlett wants another protest so that local businesses can prosper further.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 16:40 | Unregistered Commenterchas

I think Blad's post is very important. The Tobacco Control Research Centre at the University of Stirling (There are nine TCRCs in the UK) wishes to be exempt from FOI so that it can refuse to release the data used in its publications. If this were successful it would presumably include data used by every TCRC, including, for example the 500 weeks of heart attack and temperature data used by Gilmore, of the Bath TCRC, in claiming that the English smoking ban was responsible for a drop in heart attacks; although this was published in the bmj, which strongly encourages data sharing - scroll down this page-
This data was not made available at the time of publication. See also para 19 here
The Stirling TCRC may have been misquoted, but a request for all academic work to be exempt from FOI is laughable. Many journals, for example econometrics journals, make release of data used a requirement for publication.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 18:09 | Unregistered CommenterJon

I too think Blad’s post is very important.

Those of us who have been attempting to study all the research underpinning, for example, Linda Bauld’s report, have come up against brick walls (or rather, academic secrecy or pay walls) time and time again.

Research which is used to inform and decide public policy should surely be openly available to the actual public who are having the resulting policies imposed upon them? What do they have to hide?

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 18:46 | Unregistered CommenterLysistrata

RE Stirling University.

They,ve been told to alter their stance

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 19:15 | Unregistered Commentersheila

Who is their local MP?

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 20:12 | Unregistered CommenterXopher

Agree entirely .. ASH will be giving him chapter and verse on what to say and how to say it - or recruiting and coaching someone elswhere. BTW - there are good train links to the North - straight out of Kings Cross .... what may be helpful is a 'map' of where we all are so the nearest 'activist' can be identified when (I use the word advisedly) it is proposed by some other 'nutter' - who I suspect will this time have been better selected by our smoker hating friends ...

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 20:28 | Unregistered CommenterLiz (Dunhillbabe)

I'm very, very angry with what is happening to 27% plus of Brits and their families.

If ASH manage to get a few councils on board, surely that would begin the public wrath that has been so lacking in their appalling and fraudulent movement. It could be the start of the Revolution that is so badly needed to kick-start our country and abolish the such ridiculous notions that they aspire to.

In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy myself as I see fit with my family and friends - smoking and drinking in moderation included - and ignore all tainted, government advice.

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 23:36 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

I agree with Pat Nurse about the Welsh car ban. And yet............It really is up to the Welsh people to fight for themselves. This is totally different from SS. SS is part of England.

No. I will not put myself out for the Welsh. Where are their publicans and their small shopkeepers and their car owners? No. I will wait for England, and then I will agitate. Sod the Scots, Sod the Irish, Sod the Welsh. Let us begin to organise local opposition. Some of us are beginning to try. Localism could be wonderful, or it could be like SS. Which do we want?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 2:12 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I feel sure Big Pharma front group ASH is behind this.
Bartlett I think is acting as their messenger.
Such a law would effectively force smokers to quit, except in each others homes. It is very sad to think such a change could be achieved simply by approving a bye law.
They have got no more right to ban smoking outside than they have to ban say, eating crisps.
Apart from possible litter smoking outside affects no one.

I don't think councils should have, the right to vote on this issue either.
It would be almost the same as making tobacco smoking illegal.
Smokers are a persecuted minority now. Its a shame that's not officially recognised, it should be.
This is about denying people the freedom to be themselves.
The bully state gone mad. It must be stopped.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 2:29 | Unregistered Commentermark

Junican, you make very vaild and well put comments, but on this one I think you failed.

I understand what you are saying, however, if we let Wales, Scotland and Ireland set precedents, then it gives councils and government in England more ammunition and power to impose the same idiotic laws here.

As a whole nation, regardless of borders and local governments, we must stick together and fight together to stop any part of this nation setting precedents that will ultimately adversely affect us all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 8:49 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

They picked the wrong gillie in Bartlett, he looks a right dope and I'd say ASH didnt have to promise him much for that caper.
They'll be more choosey in September and pick some budding Nazi type with a wannabe ego who just wants to make a few bucks.
Keep vigilant guys and well done on your success in Stoney Stratford.
I think its an absolute disgrace with the EU on the verge of imploding for the want of cash that these jobsworth hold so much sway over bullshit concern about our health, that they can still deprive us of personal freedoms like smoking a cigarette, when most people would be grateful just to have a job to go to.
When is someone going to stand up and point out that the emperor has no clothes and laugh the lot of them out of existence.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 9:36 | Unregistered Commenterann

Listen to the idiot's reason for postponing the ban.
49 mins in

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 14:14 | Unregistered Commenterchas

Lyn - my point exactly which is why I think Wales Next is important. If we wait for that to ban smoking in our cars, then Scotland, and then Ireland, it will be too late for England. Of course the Welsh must be involved because it is their country that will be adversely affected by this, but we must all play our part along with our Welsh supporters. Look at where doing nothing up to now has got us - and look at where doing just one thing got us too.

We can't roll over and let this happen anymore.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 14:54 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Oh dear! Lyn, Pat, you are of course quite right.

But I cannot just withdraw because this situation is quite different from the smoking ban in that there are no publicans to hit with swinging fines. This will be a battle between individuals and the 'state'.

I vaguely feel that such a ban by the Welsh Assembly will not so easily be complied with. I think that there will be a lot of shouting. Certainly, there is no way that I would accept a roadside fine. I would go to court and I would shout. I feel sure that you would too. Bring it on!

It may be that the time to protest will be the first time that a person is taken to court, but it is hard to say. Remember that the poll tax protests only started after the system had already been introduced into Scotland without protest (did I hear "Scotland the brave"?).

We will see.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 3:36 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Bravo Junican.

I have been saying for years, at least four anyway, that banning smoking in the streets is a totally different ball game. It becomes just 'them' and 'us' because they can't fine the trees and there is no one else to help them bolster this spiteful and divisive law.
If all smokers say 'take me to court' they will soon get clogged up and the stupid decree, if ever enacted, would either be dropped or, more likely, quietly set aside. Might require a few martyrs though.
Fancy sharing a cell Junican?

At least we could smoke in peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 16:55 | Unregistered CommenterGrumpybutterfly

Junican and Grumpubutterfly I can see your point, but these days how many of us can afford the fines they impose, never mind the unpaid (in mine and many other cases) time off work to attend court, without the stress that can cause?

I still believe it should be stopped, if at all possible, long before it ever goes that far.

The other problem is getting enough people to stick together in the same place at the same time! Unfortunately, much though the tide is slowly turning, I hope, it will take a long while before attitudes in this once great country get back to anywhere near what they were decades ago where people did stick together and support one another openly!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 17:13 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

I agree Lyn although I take the very valid point by Junican and Grumpybutterfly. I think we should try and stop it if we can by sticking together and if we lose then the civil disobedience and acceptance of fines or prison is the next logical step :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 18:23 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

If you think the actions of the Welsh Assembly and Stony Stratford council are extreme imagine my horror when reading an article in the local Hearld & Post in Luton where reporter Alan Dee actually describes how smokers should be "shot between the eyes if they light up on the streets of Luton. I quote "So let's set a squad of licensed snipers on to the streets, with permission to pick off smokers whenever there's a clean shot". He goes to say "And if they defiantly carry on puffing when they are popped between the eyes it will save the health service all the costs of caring for them in their declining years. We know bans don't work if they're not enforced. My way is simpler and more effective". The country is on a permanent sate of alert because of terrorist activities and to deliberately describe in detail how a part of society should be dealt with, is very, very disturbing. His article is a disgrace and I'm extremely concerned that a local paper printed this story. I will ask our two local MPs Gavin Shuker and Kelvin Hopkins contact the H&P and demand a public retraction of the story with an apology to the smokers of not just Luton, but the country in general.

Sean Spillane

Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 7:43 | Unregistered CommenterSean Spilane

Sean, I hope your quest in requesting the aid of your 2 local MPs gets a positive result, but I won't hold my breath!

Is there not a law against incitement to maim and/or kill?

Other than that, words fail me!

Keep us posted.

Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 16:21 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

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