The petition is from the regular customers of the Swan hotel in Bacup, Rossendale, in my constituency. It has been signed by 93 of them and it expresses concern about the effect on their daily lives of the smoking ban.
Bacup is famous for many things, such as the “Britannia coconutters”, the Rossendale Academy of Arts and the fact that it provided the location for “Juliet Bravo”, but above all it is famous for its community spirit. The Swan hotel regulars tell me that since the ban was introduced at least a good third of their social friends have stopped coming as a direct result, and the social atmosphere in the pub has drastically diminished. Smokers and non-smokers alike are finding that the ban serves no purpose whatever, other than nibbling away at the social cohesion that has taken many years to evolve.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The Petition of customers of the Swan Hotel, Bacup, Rossendale,
Declares that the smoking ban is having an adverse effect on the social structure and enjoyment within their local pub, the Swan Hotel; they consider it a valuable asset within the local community.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to introduce amending legislation to provide for the landlord of the Swan Hotel placing a sign on his door depicting the pub as a ‘smoking establishment’ giving customers the right to choose whether to enter or not.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.]