House-painter told he broke the law because his private van is a “place of work”

A Welsh painter and decorator has been fined £30 fine for smoking a cigarette in his own van.

Ceredigion council issued Gordon Williams a penalty notice earlier this month for breaking new regulations on smoking in the workplace.

Williams, from Llanafan, near Aberystwyth, has protested that his van is used only for travel to and from work - as well as for private, non-work use.

“I am dumbfounded - the van is only insured for private use and to get me to and from work,” he told the BBC. “It not my place of work - I decorate houses not vans.”

Williams believes that the penalty notice is the first such handed out by the council since new smoking regulations were introduced last year, as the number on the notice was 0001.

He is reported to have been on a trip to the shops to buy teabags for his wife when he was stopped by council officials.

Williams has appealed against the fine although he has already paid it.