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Council to ban street smoking

10th October 2006

04092006_smokingbar1.jpgWestminster City Council is to apply to the government for the power to ban smoking outside bars and restaurants in London’s West End.

The council intends to enforce its plans when the general ban on smoking in public places comes into play next year.  The council said it was responding to the Department of Health's consultation on the introduction of the ban across England, which had raised concerns over the increase in noise levels in residential areas following a ban in other countries.  Noise complaints rose by 1000% in Edinburgh after a smoking ban was introduced in Scotland.

The capital’s West End includes many residential properties which jostle for space amongst large numbers of pubs, restaurants and clubs.  The council said it was not just worried about noise levels but was also concerned about large numbers of people congregating outside and the impact that would have on policing in the West End.  It also said there could be an increase in its cleaning bill.

A spokesperson for the council said that there were already problems outside some licensed premises caused by people standing outside drinking and creating considerable noise for neighbours and that the council was, "anxious to avoid this problem being greatly increased by smokers."


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