Smoke ban warning

THE owners of pubs and clubs across North Somerset could face fines of up to £2,500 if they flout the smoking ban which comes into force on July 1. North Somerset Council officials will police the ban using cash provided by the Government. Council staff

THE owners of pubs and clubs across North Somerset could face fines of up to £2,500 if they flout the smoking ban which comes into force on July 1.North Somerset Council officials will police the ban using cash provided by the Government. Council staff will be able to issue individuals with an on-the-spot fine for breaking the new law and bar managers will be liable for a fixed penalty notice of up to £200 if they fail to display the proper signs.In the months leading up to the ban the council will aim to increase awareness of the new law using mailshots and seminars.The Government has provided the council with £17,000 in this financial year and £83,000 for 2007-8 towards the cost of enforcing the ban. Inspections will be carried out by officials who already visit businesses as part of their normal duties, such as trading standards and health and safety officers. Oliver Haskins, licensee of the Cabot 5 Bars in Weston, thinks the penalties are the wrong way round and that more onus should be put on the individual. The 28-year-old said: "It is very difficult to enforce in a place filled with hundreds of people where there will always be some willing to break the law.


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