I am writing with some concern, having recently witnessed a member of the public being fined for dropping a cigarette end on the pavement directly outside Exeter St Davids railway station. I was under the impression that this area was privately owned, and my subsequent investigation confirmed that this was indeed the case.
It would appear that the "smoking police" employed by Exeter City Council are being somewhat overzealous in their quest to boost the council coffers. To this end, I think it only fair that members of the public are made aware that any fine imposed on railway property should be safely ignored. Furthermore, those who have unwittingly paid such fines need to be aware that the council are acting unlawfully, and I would urge them to press for a full refund and apology.
It is my opinion that the council should be held responsible, in the same way in which the television broadcasters were recently brought to book, for wrongly charging viewers on premium rate telephone numbers.
Clarification of this matter from council chiefs would I'm sure be welcomed by smokers, and I urge them to respond through your columns at the earliest convenience.
Note: This letter was not published in the Express & Echo, no doubt down to the official denotice on any pro-smoking malarkey by HM Gov.