An SNP drive to install no smoking signs in every one of Scotland’s parks has fallen embarrassingly short – after it emerged only three per cent took heed of the Scottish Government instruction.
Research by the Scottish Conservatives found of the country’s 4759 children’s playparks, only 164 had signs on display warning parents and other visitors that smoking was banned.
This is despite ministers saying in 2013 that local authorities “should focus on areas likely to be frequented by children such as playparks with the aim of reducing their exposure to smoking behaviours”.
The document – Creating a Tobacco Free Generation – stated council action should include implementing “smoke free policies across their properties and surrounding grounds by 2015, including setting out appropriate enforcement measures”.
It even went on to highlight examples in England where “local projects have used signage” in areas like children’s parks.
But since then, only one council in Scotland – Clackmannanshire – has installed the signs in 100 per cent of its playparks, with 86 signs.
And aside from East Dunbartonshire (one), Falkirk (one), Glasgow (70), Inverclyde (five) and West Lothian (one), local authorities do not have a single sign erected in parks.
That means 4595 parks are yet to come good on the Scottish Government’s pledge.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said:
“This is a classic example of the SNP talking tall words, with no intention of seeing them through.
“It certainly has a long way to go in the space of four months if it wants to get no smoking signs up in the remaining 97 per cent of children’s play parks.
“People are sick of hearing grand plans from the Scottish Government which then come to nothing.
“Instead of setting these ludicrous targets, ministers could have come up with something realistic to reduce the number of people smoking across Scotland.”