Some good news! In a rare outbreak of common sense, Britain's biggest bansturbators, Brighton & Hove Council, have been hilariously bloodied in the nose department.
A Government planning inspector has ruled patio heaters an efficient use of energy as he overturned a decision by Brighton & Hove City Council to refuse planning permission for a heater outside a town-centre pub.
The council argued the heaters did not comply with its energy-efficiency policy. But the planning inspector said there was “no more efficient way” of outside heating, and added it could negatively impact trade.
The council rejected the application from the Heart & Hand in North Road to use three heat lamps outside, labelling them “an inefficient, unsustainable and wasteful use of limited energy resources”.
It said they would look unsightly in a conservation area.
A round of applause for Simon Emerson, the sensible guy who told Brighton to shove their idealistic ruling somewhere that really is snug and warm.
The reaction from Brighton was a deliciously humiliating climb-down.
A spokesman for Brighton & Hove Council said: “The policy we used as a basis to refuse the application states the need for energy efficiency in all sorts of developments. We felt that outside heaters were inefficient and therefore conflicted with this policy.
"But, we are happy to accept the decision of the inspector as it provided us with some useful clarification and, as a result, we are not expecting to refuse these types of application in principle in the future.”
Well, I say. What a difference from the arrogant tone employed by Brighton's Green party Councillor, Keith Taylor, back in February. [pdf]
Keith Taylor, Green councillor for the St Peter’s and North Laine ward in Brighton, said: “I have every sympathy for the businesses that have lost money since the smoking ban was introduced. However, pubs and restaurants are going to have to come up with more imaginative ways of retaining customers that don’t involve heating fresh air.”
Not any more they're not. Eat cold humble pie with a dressing of ridicule gravy, you pompous, lentil-munching cock.
It's only a small victory though, considering Brighton's incredible history of banning just about everything apart from breathing.
For a start, the open air in Brighton is an entirely alcohol-free zone, and has been for a while now.
Brighton and Hove council has also operated an alcohol-free zone throughout the authority for several years. The police exercise discretion, but in general anyone caught drinking in the streets will have the alcohol confiscated. A spokesman said that drinking would be allowed in open-air cafés spilling on to the streets, but otherwise officers would stop drinkers in parks, squares and streets.
They attempted to implement a smoking ban on bars and restaurants in 2003, and banned council employees from enjoying a beer at lunchtime in 2005.
Brighton and Hove Council has banned its employees from drinking any alcohol during working hours.
All 800 staff at can no longer drink at lunchtime, under new guidelines about drinking at work.
Chief executive Alan McCarthy said the move wasn't in response to any particular problem among employees, but added: "We just concluded that work and drink don't mix and a total ban was the obvious answer."
There was no overall control after the 2007 elections, but the bans just increased in frequency after that.
In October 2007 it was carrier bags,
Brighton has announced its plans to be the first British city to ban plastic bags.
City councillors from all parties have voted to do away with the bags, which have become the focus of green efforts to reduce waste and the nation's carbon footprint.
Then certain styles of music in December,
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “Whether it’s Jerry the opera or Jerry the rapper, we must ensure that we are preventing criminal offences and not just offence itself.”
Then dogs in February 2008 ... seriously, I'm not messing you about here.
Brighton and Hove City Council has announced plans to ban dogs from beaches for six months of the year.
Dogs would also be banned from children's play areas, some school grounds, small historic city centre squares, such as Brunswick Square in Hove, and cemeteries.
Followed by 'inappropriate' recreational keep-fit clubs in April.
Town hall bosses have axed a child and adults keep-fit pole dancing class - because it is "not appropriate".
Brighton and Hove City Council bosses banned the 'Pole Dancing Passion' sessions from the King Alfred leisure centre - despite granting licenses for six fully nude lap-dancing clubs.
Estate Agents' advertising boards in September.
Brighton & Hove City Council submitted a proposal to extend an existing ban on estate agency boards beyond the city's historic areas at an environment cabinet meeting on September 11.
And even Tesco find it difficult to deal with the south coast burghers, having been banned from selling alcohol in November.
Supermarket giant Tesco has been banned from selling alcohol in a new store. It is the first time the multi-national company has been ordered to keep drink off the shelves in Sussex and only the third occasion in Britain.
That's without even mentioning the aborted plan to ban pavement seating, which, for anyone who has visited Brighton, is the sole fucking reason it has dragged its reputation up from being the dirty weekend capital of the south, into a continental-style relaxation zone.
Brighton has 26 Tory councillors, 13 Labour, 12 Greens, a couple of Lib Dems and an Independent. Quite obviously a lethal cocktail.