Rethink over smoking ban

One of the smoke fee signs and (below) the proposed smaller version.

One of the smoke fee signs and (below) the proposed smaller version.

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to install no smoking signs in Blackpool parks have been scaled back following a public outcry.

The signs have been redesigned and made smaller – and there will be fewer of them.

One of the redesigned no smoking signs proposed for parks in Blackpool.

One of the redesigned no smoking signs proposed for parks in Blackpool.

It was revealed last summer that council and health chiefs wanted to ban smoking in outdoor green spaces.

Signs are already in place in children’s playgrounds but Blackpool Council and the NHS wanted to widen the ban, which cannot be legally enforced, to cover parks in full.

A revised planning application has been submitted for the no smoking signs in parks with the majority of the proposed new signs no bigger than A3 size.

Coun Ivan Taylor, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We’ve listened to what local residents have said and made changes we hope will suit everyone.

“No-one disputes the fact people shouldn’t be smoking in playgrounds where children are playing and it’s important the signs in this area send out a strong message.

“Children should be able to play in a clean, healthy environment.

“However we received a lot of comments about the signs proposed for the park entrances, we’ve taken on board these suggestions from members of the community and have made a number of changes to the design and size.”

Gary Pennington, chairman of the Friends of Highfield Park, said: “I still don’t agree with the ban but it does make sense to make the signs smaller.

“From an aesthetic point of view they are certainly better than the monstrous signs we were getting.”

Initially 38 signs were due to be installed in 13 parks. The new plans propose 26 smaller signs with many set to be adjacent to existing signage.

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