Palace of Westminster: Smoking

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 11th June 2007.

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Photo of Dai Davies Dai Davies Independent, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether legislation covering smoking in public places will be applied to the Palace of Westminster and all its outbuildings within the Parliamentary estate.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

As I said in my reply to Mr. Doran on 20 March 2007, Hansard, column 757W:

"The Health Act 2006 introduces a ban on smoking in workplaces and enclosed or substantially enclosed public places from 1 July 2007. While the Act does not formally apply on the parliamentary estate, the Commission, on the advice of the Administration Committee, has decided that the House should comply with the principles of the legislation, as it is not desirable that those who work on or visit the parliamentary estate should be treated differently in this respect than in other workplaces and public places. The Commission recognises, however, that many who work on the estate are unavoidably present for long periods, particularly when the House is sitting. It is therefore desirable to make reasonable provision for those who wish to smoke to do so, provided that the health and safety of other users of the estate is not adversely affected.

With these principles in mind, the Commission has decided that smoking should cease to be permitted from 1 July 2007 in all internal areas of the House of Commons estate, including in bars and private offices. From that date smoking will, however, be permitted in four designated external areas: the Terrace, Commons Court (North West corner), North Terrace (between Portcullis House and Norman Shaw South), and in a designated area on the west side of Canon Row courtyard. Cigarette receptacles will be provided in these areas. "No Smoking" signs will be displayed at entrances to the buildings. I understand that the House of Lords Administration and Works Committee will report its recommendations shortly on the smoking policy for the Lords part of the Parliamentary Estate."

I understand that the House of Lords agreed to the recommended policy on Wednesday 9 May.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes18 people think so

No17 people think not

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James Anstee
Posted on 12 Jun 2007 2:24 pm (Report this annotation)

Maybe the member hasn't relaised but the smoking ban is already inaffect in Wales, inwhich his constituency is located.

This matter has NO impact or effect on his constituency or constituents.

Another wonderful well researched question (well maybe not)

Ken Brookman
Posted on 12 Jun 2007 4:24 pm (Report this annotation)

What a stupid question. I realise that Palace of Westminster and all its outbuildings within the Parliamentary estate may not be regarded as a working environment by all those that visit Westminster but come on Mr Davies, take a pill or something and sort out this problem you have with these silly questions.

anthony lynch
Posted on 13 Jun 2007 10:54 am (Report this annotation)

i think perhaps the palace of westmintster is open to the public and as such should fall under the regulations when ithey come into force in england.
did you hear about the woman in a bus stop in ebbw vale being fined on the spot for smoking in the bus stop

Ken Brookman
Posted on 15 Jun 2007 5:06 pm (Report this annotation)

Missed that one Ant'. Hang em and flog em all I say.
Sounda a bit over the top though. Was the bus stop a covered one or one with just a front a small roof. If that was the case the woman could argue that she wasn't smoking in a public place but just walking past a bus stop I suppose? Complain to MY MP I would on that one.

anthony lynch
Posted on 22 Jun 2007 11:13 am (Report this annotation)

Arnt you a frien of Roy Nancarrow Ken