Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a review of the smoking ban to stop the closure of so many pubs and clubs.
Over 2,000 pubs and clubs have gone to the wall in the last year and seven pubs a day are going out of business. They are under massive pressure to keep afloat and the smoking ban has further impacted on their plight.
When the bill was implemented on 1st July 2007 the Government said it would review the ban in three years' time, a review which now does not appear to be forthcoming.
Brian said: "Many pubs and clubs are finding it difficult dealing with the economic situation. The smoking ban has further impacted on many businesses and the trade is really struggling.
"I want to consider a balanced and proportionate amendment to the legislation which allows for segregated smoking rooms or areas within pubs, bars and clubs, provided that effective smoke extraction systems of an authorised standard are installed."
The EDM calls on the Government to conduct a thorough review, supported by consultation with all parties and affected business sectors on the impact the smoking ban has had on public houses and private members clubs.
Brian said: "I understand that the Government has no plans to review the smoking ban at the present time and that makes me angry. The then Health Minister promised that a review would be held three years after the implementation of the ban but the Government is now saying that it has no plans to do so. That denial is simply unacceptable.
"I have tabled this EDM to put pressure on the Government to look into the impact the ban is having on the pubs and clubs trade and to conduct an urgent review.
"The EDM also calls for any changes to the smoking ban legislation to be made on the basis of evidence, fairness and proportionality whilst recognising the importance of pubs and clubs to the nation's social life and community wellbeing."
Mr Binley, as you will gather, wants to amend the smoking ban. The Department of Health doesn't want to amend the smoking ban. Mr Binley wants a review of the ban to see how it's gone. The Department of Health doesn't. That, I think, tells you all you need to know about how the ban's gone.
In somewhat related news, Dick Puddlecote has yet more evidence to show why smoking bans do NOT correct market failure, because the market had it right to begin with.