Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Lee Lyons was out collecting signatures for a petition to save the display window of Ayr's historic tobacconist store T. H. Dalling. The display window is under impending threat from legislation passed by the Scottish Government in 2010 which will prohibit displays of tobacco based products and accessories from public view.
Whilst there are several exemption in the legislation for Specialist Tobacconist stores like Dalling, such as being able to display such products within the confines of the shop, such stores will be forced to remove their displays from the shop window or have to tint their windows.
Lee said: "It has been an absolute joy to be out on the high street once again engaging with the people of Ayrshire. So many of our elderly citizens told me about how they remeber visiting the shop back in the 1940's and 1950's and there's a real sense of sadness that the window may be covered up. Over 2000 people have signed up to express this simple message to the Scottish Government: Let there be an exemption for specialist tobacco shops to keep their window displays. Our high streets are facing immense challenges already without the Scottish government raising more barriers for small independent retailers".
The new legislation was delayed due to a long standing legal challenge by Imperial Tobacco Group Plc however it has already been implemented for some time in larger retailers and is poised to come into force for smaller and independent retailers by April 2015. Lee has also set up an online petition to help Dalling and other small specialist tobacconist stores amend the legislation via the Holyrood Public Petitions Committee.
A link to this petition will follow soon, however if you are in Ayr, pop into T. H. Dalling at Burns Statue Square to sign the hard copy petition!