Further to this post about some councils, such as Warrington and Stony Stratford, hoping the Localism Bill will give them the power to ban smoking in parks or streets I have been assured this is not the case.
Local Government Minister Bob Neill says:
Reports suggesting that the Localism Bill will allow the introduction of smoking bans in public places are wide off the mark. There is nothing in this Bill that provides additional powers to prohibit smoking in open spaces or in private cars.
We are giving councils a general power of competence – this will allow them to do the things that any individual generally could. It will particularly help councils find new ways to work to save money and protect frontline services. But that does not permit the introduction of new regulation on the broader public.