Monday, July 09, 2007

Smoking ban round up (pt III)

In Kingston a pub has banned smoking outside under its awning as,
"manager Hannah Wells said that the awnings were classed as part of the building. She said: "It will probably hit us more in the winter, and some of our smokers will say "why can't we smoke" because it's outside".

In Oxford its that smell problem again,
"Oxford's Park End Club in Park End Street, is leading the nose-friendly charge by pumping sweet-smelling gas out of its air conditioning system.
Up to 1,200 punters a night will notice the Hydro Spa scent, which creators labelled "a mixture of sparkling citrus and marine notes, crisp fruits and green herbal accents".
Christ on a bike, if there is something more horrible than the smell of all that stuff disturbing you pint I would love to hear about it, it sounds like drinking in a vat of Shake and Vac. And as a matter of interest, I wonder what the HSE implications are for continued inhalation of vast quantities of those chemicals. Arrgh I am dying of second hand synthetic lavender and sea mist!

According to the in-house journal of the pub trade, the Morning Advertiser
"An online poll on this website has found 64% of licensees said their pub was quieter following the introduction of the smoking ban.
In total 229 out of 357 people agreed that the ban has left their pubs quieter.
The snap poll ran from the first day of the ban - last Monday July 1 - until 1pm today.
However, it was not all bad news with 15% of respondents saying their pub was actually busier since the big stub-out

In Dartford things are not looking good
"Mustie Hassan, 32, the owner of R Bar, Windmill Street, Gravesend, said: "It has completely killed business.
"It's going to take time for people to get used to it. For this month at least I think people will stay away."

But Manchester University is just being daft.
Students and staff at a university have been banned from smoking outside their building - because it might scare the birds.
Researchers in the Stopford Building at Manchester University decided to ban smoking in their quadrangle after the birth of five Sparrowhawk chicks two months ago.
The birds nested, courted, hatched and are near fledging while people were smoking, so what on earth are the authorities talking about? But never fear the voice of the state is comforting, supportive mellifluous,
"Jane Sunter, public health manager at the Manchester Stop Smoking Service, said: "I think it is enlightened of the university to implement a ban."
Enlightened, as in the Enlightenment, you know that period when people thought that reason should be invoked when debating issues? Or enlightened as in the Buddah, where big fat chaps sit around under trees contemplating their navels?
I wonder how much of our money she is paid?

In Ulster we have the glorious spectacle of a politician judging what is an isn't art
"Health Minister Michael McGimpsey confirmed that the smoking ban which came into effect across Northern Ireland in April would include theatre performances where smoking was featured..."In my view actual smoking is not essential to protect the integrity of a particular performance," he said.

Which hasn't gone down too well with award winning playwrite Owen McCafferty,
"Owen McCafferty, author of hit plays such as Closing Time and
Mojo-Mickybo, which was made into the film Mickybo & Me, said the decision
to prohibit actors from smoking on stage - even as part of a production - "
epitomises politicians' feelings" towards the arts in Northern Ireland.
McCafferty's play Scenes From The Big Picture is due to hit the Waterfront
Hall in September for its Irish premiere, but it may have to be amended to take
account of the new rules.
"There are two scenes in particular in which smoking is vital; in fact, one of them is about smoking," said Mr McCafferty...
"The way that decision was taken epitomises politicians' feelings about art here," said Mr McCafferty. "It wasn't discussed with any theatre company I know of, it was just a decision taken.
"One or two cigarettes in a three-hour period in a room half the size of a football pitch? That isn't anything to do with secondary smoke, that's a load of nonsense."

Devastation to the pub trade in Lincolnshire
Pubs could go bankrupt as the smoking ban stubs out profits, say landlords.

Pubs in and around Lincoln say customers are shying away from the bar - leading to a drop in profits of around 10 per cent.

Landlords claim the situation will get worse in the winter and that small "drinkers' pubs" that cannot afford pricey outdoor facilities will "inevitably disappear".

Landlady at the Monson Arms in Ripon Street, Lincoln, Erika Stroem, said her takings were down by about £650 in the first week of the ban.

Meanwhile Paul Hinks, who runs The Becke Arms in Cherry Willingham, said: "We were fortunate enough to be able to spend £16,000 on our garden - but takings are definitely down.

"This will only get worse as the weather does and small drinkers' pubs, something this county is known for, will disappear off the map - it'll be a sad day."

(Me I prefer big drinkers pubs, but I get the point).

In Wigan the smokong ban has now entered peoples homes,
The 2,500 people in Wigan who receive homecare visits have been told that they cannot smoke for one hour before the appointment time to help staff avoid the dangers of passive smoking.

Anyone who breaks the rules will get a ticking off, but persistent offenders could be fined.

Which would be all well and good (no it wouldn't it is a bloody dreadful infringement) but we all know how hard it is to get an exact time for a visit.
"We'll pop round on Tuesday love",
"What time Tuesday",
"I dunno, Tuesday"
"Oh allright"
"See you Tuesday then".

Down in Devon however things take an even more dodgy aspect. The local Council in Plymouth were given £137,000 to help them enforce the ban. Pity is it seems to have dissappeared.
"It wasn't ring fenced, so councils are at liberty to spend it on other things - and are not breaking any rules by doing so - although there's a presumption by the Government that we would like them to spend it on what it's intended for."

However the new Tory Council is determined to find out what happened to the cash,
"He said he thought the money had been "put into the general pot", but he was still trying to find out exactly where it had gone.

"It will be interesting to see what happened to it in the budget and we are looking into it," he said."

He said it, no he really said it, 'the money went into the pot and we are looking into it'. Magnificent...

Never fear, we know how the money should have been spent, up in Dudley they have it down to the fine art of wasting cash on pointless unused council services,
"officials expect a surge in the number of people trying to quit.
To cope with demand, health bosses in the borough are offering additional support over the next two months.
The Dudley Stop Smoking Service will be holding drop-in sessions at the Oakfield Centre, Brettell Lane, Brierley Hill every Tuesday until August 21 between 6.30pm and 8pm".

I wonder how many people will surge through the doors? Will anybody ask? Does anybody care?

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