Sigh.

A self-employed painter and decorator has been given a £30 on-the-spot fine for smoking in his own van because it is classified as a workplace.

Gordon Williams, 58, went out to buy some teabags for his wife when he was stopped as part of a roadside check by council officials.

Moments earlier he had lit a cigarette and was issued the penalty notice under anti-smoking legislation that bans it in the workplace. Mr Williams, a grandfather, is planning to appeal against the fine even though his wife has already paid it.

Erm, council officials have the right to undertake random roadside stops? Since when?

As it turns out the fine probably wasn\’t legally levied:

A careful reading of the smoke-free premises regulations for Wales suggests that the council officials may have been overzealous.

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly, which drafted the legislation, said: “Smoking is permitted in vehicles used for work purposes that are for the sole use of the driver and are not used as a workplace by anyone else.”

But that\’s not the point. Are we really paying rising council tax so that random stops can be made on whether people are smoking in their cars?

If we are, should we be?

Visions of pitchforks and burning brands start to dance in my head….

9 comments on “Sigh.

  1. Does anyone know what these ‘CENSUS’ things that one has started to see on roads are? There’s usually a policeman and someone else and they pull over cars seemingly randomly.

  2. I don’t know of any powers councils have to stop vehicles. They require the assistance of the police. And the police have to use specific powers.

  3. “At least he didn’t have to pay the £15 victim surcharge.”

    He will if he’s convicted. He won’t be summonsed though, because his wife paid the fine (for fear it would go up if unpaid: another little nail in the coffin of justice).

  4. “A careful reading of the smoke-free premises regulations for Wales suggests that the council officials may have been overzealous.”

    ‘Overzealous’..?

    That’s a rather nice way of saying pig-ignorant, malicious little lickspittles, isn’t it?

  5. “That’s a rather nice way of saying pig-ignorant, malicious little lickspittles, isn’t it?”

    But “rather nice way of saying” is the entire political culture of this country now.

    For example, the phrase “inappropriate and abusive behaviour” would be used to describe calling an official a pig-ignorant malicious little lickspittle.

  6. Pingback: Is it time to give up and go home? « Nation of Shopkeepers

  7. Running down highwaymen. That’s legal, isn’t it?

    Even if (or especially if) the highwaymen are also council cancers.

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