Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Smoking Ban confusion!

For two weeks now I have been trying to establish if our authority has followed the correct procedures for taking action against those who break the Governments smoking ban. We have given authority via the Rushmoor cabinet or executive as it is sometimes called (Council Leader and 6 selected members - not the Mayor many will be surprised to know). As I understand it, it was agreed here (unchallenged) that the portfolio holder give the authorisation.

I now read that Fareham Council believed that the executive would be authorised to approve the ban. But it was informed by the Chartered Institute of Health that agreement by the full council was required - notification of which they received a day after their last meeting.

The spokeswoman said a decision was made not to hold an emergency full council meeting and the ban was put on hold until the next full council meeting on July 26. It will come into force the next day.
At the end of the day - the ban is not going away, and this is more an administrative issue. That having been said, I do feel that issues of significance should have the benefit of receiving a full and open debate in a full Council Meeting with all members given the opportunity to express their views. That is a small price to pay for democracy.
I learn that the alternate week collection issue will be decided on by the Cabinet/Executive rather than decided by a meeting of the full council

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