Alfresco Dining in Public Spaces To Be Axed. A Lone Dissenting Voice?

In just one week since the Central and Western District Council decided to ban all restaurants from using or renting public spaces, there have been 12 (yes, twelve) letters in the SCMP condemning the “ridiculous” decision. I won’t post all 12 letters on this blog (unless there are requests to do so).

However I will post 1 other letter (see below), this time a dissenting voice that appears positively overjoyed by the District Council’s ban. This letter writer is a well known local activist (e.g. campaigns for tough anti-smoking laws, tackling noise pollution on public transport, and preserving the city’s shorelines). She may have a point, but first where is the evidence to support her “conspiratorial” views?

Reference (SCMP)

Should rules on open space be more flexible?

Jun 03, 2009

I applaud Central and Western District Council for shutting down the polluting, smoking, outdoor dining venues on public open space, the same way they had the courage to do for all public parks in their district (“Alfresco dining in public spaces across Central and Western off the menu from July”, May 21).

In Stanley, where alfresco is synonymous with “polluted by tobacco smoke”, I routinely see men laughing while holding their lit, smoking cigars right next to the faces of little children who are walking by. It is perverse.

The restaurant lobby does not want “vibrancy”.

It wants, triad-like, to take control of our public property, sell liquor to smokers and the public be damned.

Annelise Connell, Stanley

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