set to be banned at play area in Highbridge's
Apex Park looks set to become one of the first no smoking children's
play areas in the south west region.
The park has been chosen to receive thousands of pounds of NHS
funding towards the launch of the scheme.
Rideout from Smoke Free South West, a government organisation,
told town councillors at a meeting last night (Monday): "We
want to introduce voluntary smoking bans in parks across the region
and have chosen Apex Park as our first pilot."
are influenced by what they see around them and they can be harmed
by cigarette smoke. A ban would promote well-being, decrease litter
from discarded butts and support Apex's Green Flag award scheme."
stressed that the ban would only cover the play area and not the
whole of the park.
Brock from NHS Somerset, who also spoke at Monday's meeting, said:
"We have budget available for Highbridge and would love this
to be our first pilot."
funding will allow dedicated signs to be installed on the play
area fences, on waste bins, benches and equipment.
plans were given backing by Burnham and Highbridge town councillors.
Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton said: "I welcome these proposals
with open arms, having seen the effects of smoking on people's
health. It's great that our area has been chosen for a pilot and
I can't support this enough."
But Alan Miller added: "I'm concerned that if the signs mention
cigarettes and smoking that children might actually start talking
about smoking and asking about cigarettes."
Cllr Helen Groves added that she likes the idea of the wording
on the signs being written by children. "I am a smoker myself
but don't use cigarettes in play parks or around children. Smokers
generally get resistant if they feel they are being punished in
some way - the wording on the signs will be important."