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Westminster City Council is seeking powers from government to ban smoking outside pubs and clubs and even at bus st...
Westminster City Council is seeking powers from government to ban smoking outside pubs and clubs and even at bus stops.

In its response to the Department of Health's consultation on the introduction of the smoking ban, the council raises concerns about noise disturbance to residents caused from smokers congregating outside West End venues. It also warns of the impact on street cleansing teams, and fears that policing could be compromised by crowds of smokers on streets.

Councillor Audrey Lewis, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: 'There are already problems outside some licensed premises caused by people standing outside drinking and creating considerable noise for neighbours. We are anxious to avoid this being greatly increased by smokers. And while clubs are responsible for the behaviour of the people inside their premises we don't want to find substantial numbers of them congregating outside where there is the likelihood of extra work for the police.'

Westminister points out that noise complaints rose by 1,000 per cent in Edinburgh after the smoking ban was introduced in Scotland.

It has asked the DH for 'the power to prohibit smoking outside of certain premises' and to reconsider the definition of 'substantially enclosed' space to include 'space in which an individual's choice to move is compromised' i.e. seated in an open sports stand, standing at a bus stop or standing at an open air pop concert.

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