Councillors in Boston have discussed whether market traders should be banned from smoking and vaping while working on their stalls.
The suggestion to ban smoking and vaping from the Boston market was suggested by students from Boston Grammar School, Haven High Academy, Giles Academy and Boston High School, during a recent consultation.
It was originally recommended the ban be adopted into the Market Place Policy by the authority’s Environment and Performance Committee in July.
However, during a recent meeting of the council to discuss the town’s Market Place, leaders said it would be difficult to enforce and ‘encroached on human rights.’
But there has been mixed reaction from locals in the town.
June Rochford from Frampton said: “I don’t think people should be smoking behind their stalls, especially if it’s a food stall. But then it is still a public place where people can smoke. I have seen a few traders smoking but they often move from behind the stall.
“If this was imposed they would have to stop everyone from smoking in the Market Place as it wouldn’t work.
“It’s a good idea but I think smoking would have to banned from the whole market for it to work.”
A former Boston market trader, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “Stall holders work really hard and often don’t get any form of break as they are so busy so it’s very difficult for them.
“I can’t say I have seen many smoking behind their stalls and smoking is not like it used to be.”
At the Cabinet meeting, town centre portfolio holder Nigel Welton asked for the proposal be removed.
He said: “I don’t believe we have a reasonable enforcement procedure in place to deal with that and I don’t believe that removing someone from the market which is our only way of enforcing the policy is a reasonable thing.”
He said traders had no issue with the policy, but added: “I feel if we are going to have something in our policy we can’t enforce without using a sledgehammer then we shouldn’t have it.
“Customers will enforce that – if somebody is selling goods and they have a fag-end hanging out their mouth then customers will make their own decisions.”
Should market traders be banned from smoking and vaping?
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Finance portfolio holder Aaron Spencer agreed, saying a ban could also prevent others from selling their products.
“Not just for the fact we can’t police it, we shouldn’t be encroaching on human rights like that if they want to smoke on their market stall they’ll accept some customers, it’s a market it’s not for us to say what they what they should be doing on it if they want to smoke in front of customers they should be allowed to.
“If you have got the man with the vape stall demo-ing his e-cigarettes to people you’re essentially saying he can’t do his business which is not something this council should be doing.”
Other changes to the Market Policy adopted by the council include removing a tenant mix to allow more traders selling the same items and allowing for casual traders to be allocated available pitches.