Government will not ban, York does

Posted 23rd July 2020 by Dave Cross
On Monday, we wrote about how the Local Government Association (LGA) was supporting Baroness Lindsay Northover’s call to ban smoking (and presumably vaping) from pavements being used for pub and restaurant seating. The British government has responded to say it will not act on these calls – but news from York is that local politicians are making a ban an integral part of any pavement use application.

While not implementing the ban Northover and the LGA seek, but a spokesperson did say businesses desperately trying to recover from the enforced lockdown will have to make “reasonable provision” to set up non-smoking areas, providing a 2-metre gap between the two sections “wherever possible”.

LibDem Lord German mirrors Baroness Northover’s illiberal stance, stating in the Lords debate: “Why not use this limited opportunity to provide an environment which is not just smoke-free but is healthy for diners and staff alike? The government can demonstrate that they mean business in the challenge to tackle the harm that smoking does to the health of the nation.”

A press release from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local government stated: “Since the existing ban was introduced, businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas and banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses. However, today’s amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside.”

Christopher Pincher MP told The Independent: “We are supporting our pubs, cafes and restaurants to safely reopen and securing jobs by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to set up outdoor seating and stalls to serve food and drink, whilst protecting public health against the transmission of COVID. These changes will allow everyone to enjoy outdoor eating and drinking whether they smoke or not, with appropriate provisions made for non-smokers and smokers.”

YorkMix magazine is reporting that businesses applying for a temporary three-month pavement licence in the city of York will “need to be non-smoking and non-vaping areas, to protect people from passive smoking.”

Freemax

Passive smoking? From vape? Countless studies have shown there is no such concept indoors – let alone outside.

Local papers report a number of businesses closing down due to the lockdown [link]. In their quest to create “a more family friendly atmosphere and embrace a European-feel”, Director of Public Health Sharon Stoltz is ignoring science, throwing tobacco harm reduction under the bus at a time it’s needed most, and ignoring the needs of countless small independent pubs [link].

Related:

  • LGA Pavement Ban Demand – [link]
  • Northover’s comments to the Lords – [link]
  • York goes continental, YorkMix – [link]
  • The Directorate of York – [link]


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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