I was recently contacted by a constituent concerned about the new set-up at Bloomfields. The nearby resident outlined that;
'When you walk through the doors of Bloomfield's or come out you are always greeted by smokers and the cloud of smoke. They literally spark up right by the doors and it's bad enough breathing it in but my son shouldn't have to do that as well or any children in fact. I think there should be a designated area maybe but away from the entrance'
In response, I contacted the Centre and was disappointed to receive an unhelpful response which stated;
'Ensuring that they [smokers] comply with a voluntary code limiting the areas in which they smoke would take a huge amount of goodwill on the part of smokers which I don't think is there and manpower which we can't afford.'
Following recent works to expand the shopping centre, the entrance area seems to have been amended and could be viewed under no smoking legislation to be substantially enclosed. Providing a litter bin and ash tray within the enclosed area therefore sends out entirely the wrong message.
Rather than seeking to apportion blame to others I urge Bloomfields to take decisive action to stub out this problem through, for example, re-siting the ash tray, increased signage, provision of dedicated smoking shelter and increased patrols. Customers, including children, should no longer have to walk through clouds of tobacco smoke when entering or exiting the shopping centre.