Don't let them take the heart of our community'

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Total smoking ban, Smoking ban, Government

I write to express my very real concerns over the Government proposals for a smoke ban in pubs that serve food. I wonder what would happen if they...

I write to express my very real concerns over the Government proposals for a smoke ban in pubs that serve food.

I wonder what would happen if they tried this in France? You would probably have every tractor driver and deux cheveaux delivery driver blockading the outskirts of towns and small villages all over the country.

Not so here, I fear.

We, in our small rural community pub, operate a non-smoking restaurant and a clean, filtered, airy bar. All our customers get the opportunity to eat in a non-smoking area if they so wish. There are many, however, who prefer to eat in our bar area, especially at lunchtime, as they don't want to leave the general atmosphere, or maybe the blazing hot open fire in the winter.

My good lady and I provide what we believe to be an excellent service to our community and try also to be all things to all people. That is what our community wants, needs, and we hope gets from us. If the proposals become law it will be the killing of what used to be known as "the Great British Pub".

Tony Woodman

The Greyhound Inn

Incorporating Bertie's Bed and Breakfast

Hickling

Norwich

Well done for seeking a middle way on smoking'

I write to give my total support for the Morning Advertiser initiative in seeking a middle way to resolve the smoke-ban crisis facing pubs.

Should the ban become law as drafted by the Government, we are planning to address both significant areas of our trade, a town bar and a brasserie, by splitting our premises into two selfcontained businesses, which is easy for us as we are on two floors. At the moment, though, we are unsure about the legitimacy of such a move.

I'm sure you will receive tremendous support for your well-considered initiative and we hope that this won't fall on deaf ears.

Guy Sankey

Sankeys

Tunbridge Wells

Kent

A total smoking ban will cost the Government, too'

I am the landlord of a village pub in Nottingham-shire. I have two separate rooms, one which serves food. I have already implemented my own smoking policy ­ the room that serves food is a total no-smoking room.

Since introducing this policy I have regularly spoken to all customers about it and, up to present, I haven't had any negative feedback whatsoever. However, nearly everybody I have spoken to says that the Government is taking away people's freedom of choice.

Doesn't the Government get enough revenue from us already? If the total smoking ban comes in they will have a lot less revenue because it will cause the closure of a lot more rural pubs that find it hard to survive now.

AJ Harris

The Gate Inn

Sutton-cum-Lound

Retford

Nottinghamshire

Losing smokers could do us terminal harm'

Further to the Morning Advertiser's lead on seeking to find a compromise to the Government's proposals for a smoke ban in all food pubs, I feel it is imperative that we licensees lobby for as much flexibility as possible.

I've added a non-smoking conservatory and could easily make one bar non-smoking but to lose all the smokers would be a disaster. It could do terminal harm to my business. We have increased the catering side of the business a lot so that it now represents 30% of turnover, although it is virtually non-profit making because of the huge costs involved.

We are now faced with the possibility that it may be better to stop it all together and let the staff go. It would be terrible to have to make these decisions and some sort of common-sense approach to the subject is needed.

Smoking among my male customers is reducing all the time. This sledgehammer legislation should be used on the nuts in Parliament who think up such proposals and know nothing of our industry.

Mark Redknap

The Old Crown

Weybridge

Surrey

Trade should not drag its heels over responsibility'

With regards to the front-page story slating Home Office discussions for an industry watchdog (Morning Advertiser, 9 December), if the Industry really is serious about getting its house in order then surely a degree of independent scrutiny simply offers a chance to demonstrate this.

The recent Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy report put the cost of alcohol-related harm to the NHS at £1.7bn, while the cost of associated crime and antisocial behaviour is £7.3bn ­ a significant burden for the taxpayer to bear.

The strategy also acknowledged that all players must be part of solving these problems, including Government and individuals, but that industry too had a key role to play.

If the drinks industry is genuinely committed to its corporate social responsibilities it would be a wise move to rise to the new challenges instead off dragging its heels.

Geethika Jayatilaka

Director of Policy and Public Affairs

Alcohol Concern

Thanks for supporting National Pubs Week'

Thanks for your fabulous plug and support for National Pubs Week in the Morning Advertiser last week ­ I'm sure it will give the whole campaign a real boost. It's a much more exciting campaign this year and your support is very important to us.

Mike Benner

Chief Executive

The Campaign for Real Ale

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