A leading councillor has signalled his determination to consider a total ban on smoking at all council premises.

Since 2007 it’s been illegal to smoke in any enclosed – or substantially enclosed – workplace.

But there are often designated areas – official or unofficial – set aside for smokers outside.

Now Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health and prevention Cllr Tim Hutchings has signalled he would like to look at a complete ban on smoking on all county council premises, outside as well as in.

That would mean an end to all official or unofficial smoking areas on council land around council buildings.

And it is likely the proposals could extend to all council-owned premises, including offices, museums and libraries.

Cllr Hutchings signalled his intention during a meeting of the county council’s public health and prevention cabinet panel on Thursday (May 9).

No formal proposals have been drawn up or formally considered. And they would need to be considered and approved through the county council’s decision making processes.

Cllr Hutchings – a self-declared former smoker – made the remark during a debate on the county’s new ‘Tobacco Control Strategic Plan 2019-22’.

It followed comments by fellow Conservative Cllr Mark Mills-Bishop, who drew attention to smoking outside hospitals.

He pointed to a number of hospitals where staff, patients and visitors congregate just outside the building to smoke – even though the buildings themselves are smoke-free.

“I was at the Princess  Alexandra Hospital recently and I was amazed at the number of people smoking outside A&E, including patients and staff,” he said.