576 Councils in the north west of England have been warned that they face fines if they do not comply with new rules on the use of coal. The government has announced that all local authorities must stop burning coal in their homes and businesses from October 1 this year.
Councils have been told that they must either switch to using cleaner forms of energy or face fines of up to £10,000. The move is part of the government’s plans to reduce air pollution and meet climate change targets.
Councils in the north west have reacted angrily to the news, with some accusing the government of ‘heavy-handedness’ and of treating them like ‘second class citizens’.
One council leader said that the government was ‘putting the cart before the horse’ by introducing the new rules before the results of a recent public consultation had been released.
Another said that the rules would have a ‘massive impact’ on the local economy and would lead to the loss of jobs. Environmental campaigners have welcomed the government’s decision, saying that it is a ‘step in the right direction’.
The government has said that it is committed to helping councils make the switch to cleaner forms of energy and that it will provide financial assistance to those who need it.
DERRY and Strabane council has warned people in smoke control areas in Strabane to strictly adhere to the smoke-free policy. The council has published a list of smoke-free areas in the borough which include all public places, workplaces and transport terminals.
Smoke-free areas are places where smoking is not allowed, regardless of whether tobacco is smoked or vaping is used.
The policy is in place to reduce the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke and to protect the health of people who live, work and visit the borough.
Smoke-free areas are enforced by council officers and the penalty for breaking the policy is a £50 fine. Anyone who has any questions or concerns about the smoke-free policy in Strabane can contact the council on 01836 665000.