Thursday, 05 April 2018 05:38


SNP MSP Ruth Maguire has called on councils to tear down ‘No Ball Games’ signs across Scotland in a bid to provide more space for children and young people to play.

Removal of the signs – a scourge of every child’s attempt to have fun – was suggested as an option by the Scottish Government in 2013, with some councils already taking action to take them down. Now, the SNP’s Ruth Maguire wants to see this approach replicated across the country.

Ms Maguire has pointed to the need to improve childhood mental and physical health as a key reason for wanting the signs to be removed – which would allow children to enjoy public greenspaces across Scotland by playing their favourite sports and games and being more active.

Commenting, Ruth Maguire said:

“It’s really sad to see a no ball games sign particularly on a piece of pristine grass perfect for playing on – no ball games, no play, no fun.

“But it’s time we changed our approach and started encouraging our children to use the greenspace we have in our communities, rather than cordoning it off and preventing them from having fun.

“Opening up the vast swathes of land that currently have the ‘No Ball Games’ restrictions on them can transform our communities and give our children and young people the chance to enjoy our neighbourhoods that little bit more.

“We are rightly trying to improve mental and physical health in our young people – and taking steps such as this to make them more active can be instrumental in leading that change, as initiatives like the Daily Mile have already been.

“It’s time councils ended their No Fun policies, recognised the importance of play for children’s development, tore down No Ball Games signs across the country and let kids enjoy themselves.”

During a 2013 Debate on the Scottish Government’s Play Strategy, then-Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“Through the play strategy and action plan, I want to see children play outside more often. We need to encourage our children to get outside and to start exploring the often wild open spaces that Scotland has in abundance. We must change the culture of the perception of children as a problem in public spaces, characterised by the “No ball games” signs we still see in communities, and we must reinforce the message that children have the same right to use public spaces as every other member of society.” 

'No Ball Games' no more: Aberdeen to become first Scottish city to remove age-old park signs: 

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