Thursday, 16 April 2009


Labour enjoy banning things, it's what they do.

There is an upside though, as local councils always find an ultra vires way of making money out of them. Reading Council have thought up a natty little wheeze, pavement smoking licences.

Pubs and clubs may have to buy a licence to allow punters to smoke on the pavement outside premises if a new condition is introduced by the council.

A proposal is being put before the licensing committee on Tuesday to suggest pavements used by premises who do not have a private smoking area will have to be cordoned off and staffed during opening hours.

It would mean all who use the public highway as their smoking area would have to pay an annual £220 fee and have additional staff supervising the area.

They would also be responsible for emptying bins and sweeping the cordoned area, and would have to use barriers that met council requirements.

Payment for doing something that is perfectly legal? With additional business costs imposed too? Inspired!

As is the sleight of hand mendacity from the proponent of this measure.

Jean Champeau [?!?], who wrote the report on the proposals for the meeting, said: “The introduction of the recent smoking legislation has now resulted in a number of unauthorised smoking areas on public highways."

Pas de merde, Monsieur Sherlock. Did you raise these concerns before the law was enacted, espèce de chatte?

And unauthorised? Exactly when did smoking in the open air require authorisation? The outside is the outside, which, last time I looked, wasn't covered by the Health Act 2006. If it was cordoned off and staffed, it could be termed as an area that might need to have authorisation.

So what this fuckwit is saying is that where smokers stand must be cordoned off as the council demands it, so becoming an area which needs authorisation ... and therefore a licence. Brilliant!

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot the hold-your-hands-over-your-privates, butt-naked lie.

“The licensing trade are keen to have areas which have been approved to a set standard."

Yep, that's right. This cocktard is truly trying to assert as fact that, at a time when pubs are closing at a rate of 39 per week, where there is a campaign which has been taken to Westmonster itself to save pubs, that the pub trade is crying out for rules such as this which require them to; pay for a licence; buy equipment to cordon off an area which is not their own; and employ extra staff to police and clean it.

With all due respect. Bollocks.

Is there a chance that this could be defeated? I doubt it. Labour and the (Il)Lib (Un)Dems have the majority.

There won't be much resistance from the locals either. The majority will smile glibly and nod in righteous agreement as something they don't personally like is restricted, completely oblivious to the fact that the cross hair will, sooner or later, be levelled at something they enjoy themselves.

So fuck the pubs. Fuck the British legal model of 'everything is permitted except that which is expressly prohibited by law'. And congratulations Reading council in contriving to ride the wave of righteousness, on a surfboard of misdirection and porkies, to garner extra funds to throw at diversity and road humps.


UPDATE: Lawson Narse has responded with an artistic commentary on the future of Reading council officers.


Anonymous said...

Can't comment as I am speechless at this proposal

Unknown said...

My soapbox has just shattered into pieces. It may never recover

Curmudgeon said...

Yes, as many predicted, the remaining "right" to smoke outdoors will be steadily eroded too.

vincent1 said...

So angry I am spitting feathers.

Is this another anti filthy idea to "protect the children"?

You know the Johnson&Johnson "formaldehye babies".

Maybe the antis do not want them overdosing on the stuff, that is supposed to be only deadly to smokers (remember the morgue advert everyone)? Did anyone see any babies or baby product in that advert, alongside the "smokers".
The trace levels of certain compounds found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics can result from processes that make our products gentle for babies and safe from bacteria growth. The FDA and other government agencies around the world consider these trace levels safe, and all our products meet or exceed the regulatory requirements in every country where they are sold. Experts such as MDs, toxicologists and clinical scientists regularly review the safety data for all ingredients used in our products. In addition, we test our final baby product formulations for safety. Once our products are in the marketplace, we continually monitor consumer experiences and review evolving scientific data.
We are disappointed that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has inaccurately characterized the safety of our products, misrepresented the overwhelming consensus of scientists and government agencies that review the safety of ingredients, and unnecessarily alarmed parents.
We want to reassure parents that JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo and all our baby and kids products are safe, gentle and mild products that they can trust and use with confidence.

I already boycott many things,and reading can get stuffed too.
mandyv fighting for choice and TRUTH.

Dick, please remove this, if you think this post is out of order.

Anonymous said...

What the hell has happened to our country? Thanks goodness the tide is turning as well.

This proposal is ludicrous - just like the smoking ban itself.
It's good to know though that the ban will soon be over and our once tolerant country restored.

There's nothing wrong with catering for everybody and giving everyone the chance to socialise in comfort and safety.

These idiots at Reading Council need to throw their proposal in the bin where it belongs.

Measures like this are too 'old hat' for the times we are living in now.

Lawson said...

I've sent you a pic. I'm really too pissed off these perpetual pratts to even post about it.

witteringsfromwitney said...

Reading can just butt out!

banned said...

Despite what they think, the public highway is beyond the remit of local councils ( except for keeping them clean and signposted ).
They probably will implement some fuckwit byelaw along the lines suggested but it will only take one court action for it to come crumbling down.
Might I suggest a concerned member of the public advise some named local politicos and council officers of this and point out their personal liabity given that warning ?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Hang about here...

I agree that OT1H this is but a small step towards banning smoking in the street, for the chi-i-ildren, presumably (pubs are full of children, that's why they banned it in pubs, first, presumably).

But, OTOH, if the council realises it can get £220 for a pavement smoking licence, what happens when a pub does the decent thing and offers to pay the council £5,000 for an indoor smoking licence (in the same way as they have to pay a few hundred quid for an on-licence)?

Would an enterprising council not then be at least tempted to auction off indoor smoking licences?

Ah well, me and my free market mad ideas...

Cate Munro said...

D'ya know what . . this is totally phucked. I don't know what else to say. I'm fuming.

BTS said...

I would encourage any person in Reading, particularly if they work from home, to apply for one of these licences just to see how many public footpaths would be blocked off to the (taxpaying) pedestrians were they granted.

If my council were to attempt this, I'd want one. Then I could watch the bodies bump off of the windscreens from my lounge as they tried to cross the road..

Pat said...

Assuming this is public highway it is vested in the highway authority- which is the County Council, not the district. The proposal is therefor tocharge rent for the use of someone else's prperty. Nice Idea- I think I'll have to send a rent demand to Reading council, since they're using land for a purpose of which I disapprove.
I'm not sure how you go about licensing, say a street market- (as it implies obstructing the highway, an offense in itself) but I'm pretty sure that someone has to ask stallholders can't be forced to participate. If a pub declined to apply for a license to barrier off (obstruct) a section of highway then the public retain the right to pass and re-pass. I guess an officious policemen could nick people who stood still whilst smoking, as they could those who threw their fag ends on the floor- but I suspect in practice that they have better things to do.
Is it just possible that the councilors don't know their jobs?