The Croydon Guardian has an interesting Freedom of Information response this week.
Wandsworth Council invested £174,785 on employing and training staff to enforce the smoking ban. A further £32,445 went on producing ‘no-smoking’ signs, conducting a survey to find out how many businesses would be affected and ‘producing a range of publicity materials so that the new legislation was fully understood’.
Over £200,000! Is this replicated all across the country?
Wandsworth has no fines, prosecutions or penalties to show for this expenditure (good job too, I don’t have enough energy for another ‘Nick Hogan’ campaign!) but taken to task for this waste of money justifies it to their local paper as its OK – ‘the money came from a central government grant’.
No, it’s not OK. Central Governments Grants aren’t some sort of magical money tree, they are comprised of taxes on hard working members of your community – and its not ‘OK’ to squander it enforcing an unjust ban that doesn’t appear to have been flouted in your area.