"When you walk through the high street in any town smoke is in your face and harming you and any children there. Smokers then get their butt, which is full of saliva, and chuck it on the floor. It costs millions to clear street rubbish, and goodness knows what a child could pick up from them. If I make the environment cleaner and save on council tax, sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns."And say you were approached by BBC Look East to appear in a feature on such a proposal.
a) Tactfully decline under the weight of adverse publicity - you're a savvy politician, after all?
b) Agree to do so, and back your rhetoric up with examples from the town you represent?
or c) Be filmed in anywhere but the place which would be forced to suffer your lunacy?
Guess which option Councillor Bartlett chose.
The proposed smoking ban in Stony Stratford was featured on the BBC's Look East programme last night, 30th June.Yes. It's such a massive problem in Stony Stratford that Bartlett was forced to travel for miles, and over county borders, to find evidence for his plan to ban smoking in a town where there is - judging by his choice of televised venue - no apparent problem.
Stony Stratford Town Councillor Paul Bartlett, the man who is making the proposal is, rather strangely, interviewed and shown picking up cigarette butts outside the Tesco's Store in Kingston, Milton Keynes. That's nearly 10 miles away from the picturesque High Street of Stony Stratford!
In another shot, the Smoke Room window of The Swan pub in Old Stratford is shown. That may be geographically close to Stony Stratford, but it is over the river in Northamptonshire.
I think this curious case requires further investigation seeing as the council is adamant that the vote will still go ahead on the 19th of July. I reckon I'll pop up there and have a look around, have a beer, smoke a
Fancy coming along?
I'm serious, by the way.
UPDATE: Bartlett's BBC Look East appearance can be viewed here.