Council planning
Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 8:08
Simon Clark

As I’ve already mentioned, despite being over 2,000 miles away, it wasn’t possible to escape work completely last week.

The Pinderfields hospital story rumbled on from the previous week and I had to do a number of BBC radio interviews from my hotel in Turkey.

I was also invited to go on Good Morning Britain (ITV) but couldn’t do it, obviously. Actually, I think I dodged a bullet because the response on Twitter to Dave Atherton, who took my place, was unremittingly hostile.

Another story I was asked to comment on concerned proposals to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas in Jersey. According to the Jersey Evening Post:

Smokers could be banned from lighting up in outdoor-seating areas at pubs, restaurants and cafés in St Helier from next year, if businesses and residents agree ...

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: ‘We would be strongly against this on the grounds that we already have a smoking ban that prohibits people from smoking indoors. Smokers have already been kicked out of pubs, bars and restaurants, the only other place they have to go these days is to smoke outside. There is no risk from people smoking in the open air.’

He added that following the introduction of the smoking ban in the UK, 11,000 pubs closed.

‘No-one is saying that is exclusively due to the smoking ban but it did have an affect on stopping people going to pubs and bars,’ he said. ‘If you now say you can’t smoke al fresco the risk is that even more people will be driven away. I think there is a big risk to the hospitality industry and the hospitality industry has to have a big say in this.’

Expect to see similar proposals put forward in the UK. Smoking in social housing is also under threat, in Scotland at least.

Some people however are remarkably complacent. The attitude appears to be: the government has no plans for further anti-smoking legislation in this parliament and is reasonably positive on vaping, so what’s the problem?

The reality is that the net is tightening on smokers all the time and the issue is not central government but local authorities - Sheffield, Manchester, Barnsley to name a few.

Later today I’ll have news of one council’s revised smoking policy that should concern not just smokers but vapers as well. Watch this space.

Article originally appeared on Simon Clark (http://taking-liberties.squarespace.com/).
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