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….