Mum calls on Harrogate council to consider playground smoking ban

Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens

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Harrogate Borough Council are asking the public should smoking be banned in playgrounds after a mum urged them to address the issue.

Lonneke Van Anraad, 32, from Kings Road said she was disgusted to see people smoking in the Valley Gardens play area over the summer.

She was in the park with her daughter Natalia who is almost one year old.

“I was just amazed they would be smoking in a play ground and thought it wouldn’t be allowed so I contacted the council about it.”

She added: “It is not about if people should smoke or not, what people do in their own homes with their own children is up to them but this is a public area that is for children.

“My friends’ babies have sometimes picked up cigarette butts from the floor in the play area, and you know what babies are like, it just goes straight in their mouths.”

This comes as a Public Health England report recommendeds that smoking should be banned in all of London’s public parks and squares.

Coun Phil Ireland is HBC’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Transport and External Affairs.

He said: “An increasing number of local authorities around the country are introducing smoke-free playgrounds as a means of reducing a child’s exposure to smoking.

“Currently there is no legislation to enforce a smoking ban at these locations, however in light of recent approaches from concerned parents and the growing local social media interest in the subject, we would welcome resident’s views on whether to introduce smoke free measures in the council’s playgrounds.

“It is important that anyone with feelings on this issue contributes as the outcome of this survey will help us decide which course of action to take across the whole district.”

The consultation is available to complete on the council’s website at: www.harrogate.gov.uk/parks or from Crescent Gardens council offices and Ripon Town Hall.

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