Protesters to stub out Stony fag ban

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DOZENS of objectors will line the streets of Stony Stratford on Saturday to oppose a move to ban smoking in public.

Next week, the town council will hear a proposal from Councillor Paul Bartlett who believes smoking in public in Stony should be banned.

The proposal hit national headlines, and Mr Bartlett, was contacted by the BBC regarding his motion.

However, he was filmed 12 miles away from Stony Stratford. picking up cigarette butts outside Tesco in Kingston.

Furious residents and business ovners will meet in the High Street on Saturday to voice their anger at the proposed ban.

Mr Bartlett said: “There are cigarette butts all over the place. They are covered with saliva, and people wouldn’t want you spitting in front of them.

“There is the general litter aspect, second hand smoke, and danger to young children in push chairs.

“We have done it with dog poo, we will do it with cigarette butts.”

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage will fly in from Brussels specifically for the protest on Saturday.

Stuart Moore, vice-chairman of UKIP Milton Keynes believes the ban is an infringement on human rights and expects more than 150 people to attend.

“If this ban somehow gets through, it will be a disaster,” he said. “Business owners in the area are terrified that if it gets the go ahead, they will lose most of their trade.

“We have had support from all over the country and people are absolutely furious.

“I don’t smoke myself, but I think it is just a ludicrous idea and I hope people turn out to show their displeasure on Saturday.”

David O’Dell, from Stony Stratford Business Association, said that they could not afford to be turning people away from the town.

He said: “We put flags and bunting up for the Royal Wedding, hanging baskets up in the summer and do a lot to attract people here.

“The last thing we want is to put signs up saying ‘you’re not welcome here if you smoke.’”

Robert Gifford, chairman of Stony Stratford Town Council, said: “At present the town council has yet to debate the issue and therefore any views expressed are clearly personal ones.

“For my own part, while the idea may be appealing, I think we have to ask what problem this is trying to resolve.

“If it is a matter of litter, there may be a better solution through the provision of further ashtrays or litter bins.”

Saturday’s protest will take place from 11am at Vault Bar.

Stony Stratford Town Council will hear the motion at its meeting on Tuesday, July 19.