COUNCIL tenants in South Cambridgeshire face a ban on smoking in their own homes when being visited by council employees. Under SCDC health and safety rules, council house residents are asked not to smoke when council workers are expected to visit their
COUNCIL tenants in South Cambridgeshire face a ban on smoking in their own homes when being visited by council employees.
Under SCDC health and safety rules, council house residents are asked not to smoke when council workers are expected to visit their home.
Iain Green, public health specialist at SCDC, said: "We recognise that local residents are free to smoke while in their own homes. However, this policy empowers officers who conduct these home visits to take responsibility for their own health and request if appropriate that residents refrain from smoking while the visit takes place within the home."
If a homeowner has been smoking, the council employee can request that a window is opened during the visit. If a resident is unwilling to refrain from smoking, staff may consider either conducting the visit on the door step or advising the resident they will come back at a different time or conduct the visit at the council offices.
Mr Green added: "This legislation has existed for two or three years but, because of the new smoking laws, people are becoming more aware of them. We are in the same boat as any other business or council. We are going through our own smoking legislation to make sure we are doing enough to protect our staff from second-hand smoke.
"This legislation is not about banning people from smoking in their homes. It is about the health and safety of staff and protecting them from second-hand smoke."
The same policy applies to council-owned sheltered housing in South Cambridgeshire.
Although the district council is unable to force householders to comply with the law, it believes these steps are necessary to protect staff from the dangers of passive smoke.
The council's smoking policy is expected to be widened when the ban on smoking in public places comes into force on Sunday.
Issues likely to be discussed include whether smoking should be banned in council car parks.