Jump­ing the smok­ing ban gun

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Clare Mul­grew

Coun­cil lead­ing the march to go smoke-free

ASH­FORD is ahead of the game with the new no-smok­ing rules, with all coun­cil build­ings set to go smoke-free a month be­fore the na­tion­wide dead­line.

From July 1, smok­ing will be out­lawed in all en­closed pub­lic build­ings and work­places in­clud­ing pubs, restau­rants and shop­ping cen­tres.

Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil is help­ing busi­nesses im­ple­ment the new Smoke­free law with min­i­mum dis­rup­tion and says it is lead­ing by ex­am­ple by ban­ning smok­ing in coun­cil work­places from May 31.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive, David Hill, said: “We are also demon­strat­ing our com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing staff who wish to stop smok­ing by al­low­ing them to at­tend NHS smok­ing ces­sa­tion ses­sions at the Stour Cen­tre in work time for the next three months.”

As part of the changes, the smok­ing room at Ash­ford Civic Cen­tre will be trans­formed into an e-learn­ing cen­tre/in­ter­net cafe for staff.

A five-me­tre smoke-free zone will be en­forced around coun­cil build­ings with new ash bins pro­vided.

The smoke free ini­tia­tive is de­scribed as the big­gest change of health leg­is­la­tion in the last 50 years.

It will bring Eng­land in line with Scot­land, The Repub­lic of Ire­land, North­ern Ire­land and Wales, where in­door smok­ing in pub­lic places is al­ready banned.

In­for­ma­tion packs are be­ing sent to all Ash­ford busi­nesses. Those which have not re­ceived a pack by the sec­ond week of May should con­tact En­vi­ron­men­tal Health on 01233 330517, or email en­vhealth@ash­ford.gov.uk

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Smoke­free leg­is­la­tion, visit www.smoke­freeeng­land.co.uk or phone 0800 169 1697.

Pic­ture Danny Rhodes pd1196164

PROV­ING their care for the com­mu­nity, more than 30 peo­ple from Great Chart and Singleton turned out on Satur­day for a lit­ter pick, or­gan­ised by the parish coun­cil. De­lighted parish clerk Tanya Boor­man said more than 50 bags of gen­eral rub­bish were re­moved. She said: “We also col­lected a sun lounger, vac­uum cleaner, no­tice board, car ex­haust sys­tem and chem­i­cal con­tainer.”

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