Smoking banned in parks

In a London first, smokers in Beddington and Wallington are now forbidden from lighting up in public parks.

Sutton councillors have agreed the first outdoor smoking ban, which covers any public play area where children could be exposed to tobacco.

Other areas in the borough are expected to follow the example of the Beddington and Wallington local committee by voting to banish smokers from open-air spaces.

The council says a borough-wide ban would cost £20,000.

The decision was taken on Tuesday night after consultation showed 84 per cent of residents backed a trial scheme at Beddington Park.

But smokers’ rights groups have condemned the legally unenforceable ban, which relies on signs costing £3,200 to make smoking socially unacceptable.

The trial ban was imposed over the summer after Councillor Bruce Glithero complained that passive smoking left his daughter spluttering.

A spokesman for the Forest lobby group said: “Many politicians want to ban smoking in public but don’t have the courage of their convictions.

“Instead they are bringing in a ban through the backdoor in this sneaky and underhand way.

“The signs simply turn people against one another and are a pathetic and narrow minded attempt to bully people into quitting.”

Marion Williams, a Tory councillor for Beddington south, said: “Keeping children safe is a top priority but, rightly or wrongly, smoking in the open air is not illegal, therefore this ‘ban’ is useless.

“Alarmingly, Lib Dem councillors wanted to use police time on an unenforceable smoking ban, when we think they should be out catching criminals.”

The trial ban was imposed over the summer after Coun Bruce Glithero complained that passive smoking left his daughter spluttering.

Coun Jayne McCoy, the committee chairwoman, said: “I’m delighted local people have backed our efforts to protect children from smoking effects.

“This trial was put in place following concerns raised by residents.

“We always said the community would decide on whether to make it permanent.

“The strength of support shows local people are behind us, I hope the voluntary smoking ban is introduced in playgrounds borough-wide.”

Deputy council leader Ruth Dombey said stopping smokers lighting up outside, after 493 people returned consultation documents, was “an excellent display of local democracy in action”.

• Do you agree with the playground smoking ban? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (7)

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7:32pm Sun 12 Oct 08

tracey62 says...

Thats funny , when returning back from the park today with my dog , 2 people passed me , both were smoking!!
Thats funny , when returning back from the park today with my dog , 2 people passed me , both were smoking!! tracey62
  • Score: 0

11:13am Mon 13 Oct 08

Peter Thurgood says...



Beddington and Wallington are acting illegally in imposing this ban in public parks.

Public parks, are not covered by the law, which clearly states that smoking is not allowed in any indoor public place. Sutton councillors would do well to read the current laws on this, and to note that "indoor" means exactly that. It does not mean, nor cover, outdoor areas.

Public parks, are paid for through local taxes, and are there to be used by the general public as a whole. They are not there to be used just by the privileged few, who happen to agree with a very unfair law which has been passed, but which is not even covered under the existing law.

I am sure everyone agrees that we want and need, to protect our children, but wrapping children in cotton wool, to protect them from fictitious harm, is not the way to go about it.

Most sensible minded people know that so called "passive smoking" does not cause any harm at all. It was a term invented by a group of fanatics in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, under Adolf Hitler, who was fiercely opposed to smoking, and used in their propaganda war against smoking. The Nazis of course, had to give up on their action against smokers, when war became prevalent, and Hitler knew that stopping his troops from smoking could cause a great deal of problem for him.
In the last few years however, our own fanatics have taken up the cause where Hitler left off, and today we are seeing the devastating effects these fanatics are causing to ordinary people's way of life, and indeed, to the many businesses being forced to close down because of it.
Any council, which sets itself up to impose a new restrictive law upon its citizens, based entirely upon a supposition, as Councillor Bruce Glithero, apparently did, when he complained that passive smoking left his daughter spluttering, should be investigated, and an enquiry set up as to the legality of such a move.
I wonder if Councillor Bruce Glithero's daughter, also "splutters" when walking near heavy traffic? And if she does so, would the Councillor then decide to pass yet another new law, outlawing that as well?

They state that the decision was taken on Tuesday night after consultation showed 84 per cent of residents backed a trial scheme at Beddington Park.

I am sorry but I do not believe these figures. I know several families who live in this area, and not one of them has been consulted on this. The figure of 84% means absolutely nothing.

The population of Sutton, taken in 1991 (17 years ago) was 168,880, which has obviously increased tremendously since then. If 84% of this population figure had now voted for this course of action, we would have seen no less than 141,58 residents in favour of it, instead of which, our local law makers, have a grand figure of just 414 votes registered in favour of the ban. Hardly democracy at work this, I would say.

Sorry Councillor Glithero, and Councillor Jayne McCoy, your figures are absolutely meaningless and lend no credulity to your story whatsoever.

Give the people of Sutton their park back at once, you have acted in an underhand and illegal fashion.
Beddington and Wallington are acting illegally in imposing this ban in public parks. Public parks, are not covered by the law, which clearly states that smoking is not allowed in any indoor public place. Sutton councillors would do well to read the current laws on this, and to note that "indoor" means exactly that. It does not mean, nor cover, outdoor areas. Public parks, are paid for through local taxes, and are there to be used by the general public as a whole. They are not there to be used just by the privileged few, who happen to agree with a very unfair law which has been passed, but which is not even covered under the existing law. I am sure everyone agrees that we want and need, to protect our children, but wrapping children in cotton wool, to protect them from fictitious harm, is not the way to go about it. Most sensible minded people know that so called "passive smoking" does not cause any harm at all. It was a term invented by a group of fanatics in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, under Adolf Hitler, who was fiercely opposed to smoking, and used in their propaganda war against smoking. The Nazis of course, had to give up on their action against smokers, when war became prevalent, and Hitler knew that stopping his troops from smoking could cause a great deal of problem for him. In the last few years however, our own fanatics have taken up the cause where Hitler left off, and today we are seeing the devastating effects these fanatics are causing to ordinary people's way of life, and indeed, to the many businesses being forced to close down because of it. Any council, which sets itself up to impose a new restrictive law upon its citizens, based entirely upon a supposition, as Councillor Bruce Glithero, apparently did, when he complained that passive smoking left his daughter spluttering, should be investigated, and an enquiry set up as to the legality of such a move. I wonder if Councillor Bruce Glithero's daughter, also "splutters" when walking near heavy traffic? And if she does so, would the Councillor then decide to pass yet another new law, outlawing that as well? They state that the decision was taken on Tuesday night after consultation showed 84 per cent of residents backed a trial scheme at Beddington Park. I am sorry but I do not believe these figures. I know several families who live in this area, and not one of them has been consulted on this. The figure of 84% means absolutely nothing. The population of Sutton, taken in 1991 (17 years ago) was 168,880, which has obviously increased tremendously since then. If 84% of this population figure had now voted for this course of action, we would have seen no less than 141,58 residents in favour of it, instead of which, our local law makers, have a grand figure of just 414 votes registered in favour of the ban. Hardly democracy at work this, I would say. Sorry Councillor Glithero, and Councillor Jayne McCoy, your figures are absolutely meaningless and lend no credulity to your story whatsoever. Give the people of Sutton their park back at once, you have acted in an underhand and illegal fashion. Peter Thurgood
  • Score: 0

11:25am Mon 13 Oct 08

Peter Thurgood says...

P.S to post above: I quoted a figure of 141,58 residents, who would have been in favour of this.
This was a typ, the actual figure should have been 141,859.
P.S to post above: I quoted a figure of 141,58 residents, who would have been in favour of this. This was a typ, the actual figure should have been 141,859. Peter Thurgood
  • Score: 0

11:36am Mon 13 Oct 08

kebabking says...

I don't remember seeing any studies that say passive smoking is dangerous in the open air. Sounds like PC nonsense to me, and unenforceable as the Tory councillor points out.

More money-wasting by the Lib Dems.
I don't remember seeing any studies that say passive smoking is dangerous in the open air. Sounds like PC nonsense to me, and unenforceable as the Tory councillor points out. More money-wasting by the Lib Dems. kebabking
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Mon 13 Oct 08

adrianshort says...

When is a ban not a ban? When it's a voluntary, crowd-pleasing fudge.

This kind of thing reminds me of the "loony left" councils in the 1980s who made their boroughs "nuclear free zones", despite having absolutely no powers to enforce it.

More here:

http://adrianshort.c
o.uk/2008/10/13/138/



When is a ban not a ban? When it's a voluntary, crowd-pleasing fudge. This kind of thing reminds me of the "loony left" councils in the 1980s who made their boroughs "nuclear free zones", despite having absolutely no powers to enforce it. More here: http://adrianshort.c o.uk/2008/10/13/138/ adrianshort
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Mon 13 Oct 08

TOPHOUSE1 says...

I lived in Wallington for 30 years,many of those a smoker,I have not smoked for 7 years but have no wish to stop others enjoying their pleasure.I moved to Spain a year ago to get away from from this small mindedness.
I lived in Wallington for 30 years,many of those a smoker,I have not smoked for 7 years but have no wish to stop others enjoying their pleasure.I moved to Spain a year ago to get away from from this small mindedness. TOPHOUSE1
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Tue 14 Oct 08

Alan Thrower says...

What a ridiculous idea. Smoking is not illegal outside so this isn't a ban at all. What will no doubt happen is that angry confrontations will now become common in our parks as the more easily-panicked take it upon themselves to confront someone minding their own business smoking a cigarette.

It is petty and interfering. Perhaps we should instead introduce a ban on councillors who come up with half-baked, bossy and unnecessary rules such as this.

I don't smoke, I think people who do are fools to themselves, but it's up to them as long as they don't harm others, which they certainly won't do in somewhere like a park.

It is pure spiteful prejudice against smokers. Parks are for all of us, not just those deemed righteous or worthy.
What a ridiculous idea. Smoking is not illegal outside so this isn't a ban at all. What will no doubt happen is that angry confrontations will now become common in our parks as the more easily-panicked take it upon themselves to confront someone minding their own business smoking a cigarette. It is petty and interfering. Perhaps we should instead introduce a ban on councillors who come up with half-baked, bossy and unnecessary rules such as this. I don't smoke, I think people who do are fools to themselves, but it's up to them as long as they don't harm others, which they certainly won't do in somewhere like a park. It is pure spiteful prejudice against smokers. Parks are for all of us, not just those deemed righteous or worthy. Alan Thrower
  • Score: 0
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