Trade pours scorn on Government plans to force pubs to clean up cigarette butts and litter outside premises
Trade groups have slated plans to force pubs to clear up cigarette butts dropped up to 100m from the premises.
Under Government plans, licensees could be hit with fixed penalties of £110 if they don't clear up butts and other litter from specified areas up to 100m from their pub.
This idea is part of a proposal to extend Street Litter Control Notice Orders (SLCNOs) to include pubs, clubs and restaurants. Trade associations criticised the idea in their submissions for the consultation, which ended this week.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said the extra litter bins required would cost the trade more than £3m, based on the Government's estimated cost of £30 to £100 per bin.
The BBPA said fines should not be implemented "until they can be applied equally across all businesses" including offices. However, it would require new legislation to apply the measure to office buildings.
A BBPA spokesman said: "Pubs are always more than happy to co-operate in keeping their immediate environment clean.
"However, it would also be fairer if new rules applied to everybody at the same time, such as outside offices. There is no logical reason why pubs should be treated differently to any other business."
Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations chief executive Tony Payne said: "Our concern is that pubs will be held responsible for other people's rubbish. People could walk by and drop litter outside the pub."
He added: "There's no common sense in having a limit of 100m from the pub. There could be five pubs in that area and who would know where the litter came from?"
Guild of Master Victuallers chairman Godfrey Page said the proposal "could lead to all sorts of problems".
"You could imagine licensees outside their pub every morning sweeping the streets," he said.
Godfrey called on the Government to foot the bill, as it was responsible for
passing the smoke-ban law.
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Nick Bish said it was a "pity" that the proposed measures won't apply to other businesses such as offices.
A spokeswoman for the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said there was no
timetable to extend SLCNOs to pubs.
Advice from Poppleston Allen
Poppleston Allen lawyer Graeme Cushion said: "If you are in a position where smokers will exit the premises onto the public highway you should make provision now. Providing a cigarette disposal bin and requesting that patrons use it to discard their cigarette butts is important.
"Some councils may agree to empty the bins
for you. Otherwise you should ensure that the bins are regularly checked and
that any smoking materials
discarded on the ground are removed."
free bins and ash-trays for pubs
Pubs in several English council regions will receive free bins to cope with the estimated 25 tonnes of extra rubbish expected in the UK each day due to smoking bans.
Colchester, Chelmsford and Braintree councils in Essex have teamed up to bulk-buy cigarette bins and give away free ash-trays to pubs. Outlets in the Wigan Council area will get free cigarette pouches and ash-trays. Councils are also set to launch ad campaigns urging smokers not to litter, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
The LGA, which estimated the figure of 25 tonnes after studying the Irish smoking ban, has said that street cleaners must concentrate on areas outside pubs when the ban begins.