No Ball Games signs to be removed

No Ball Games signs to be removed

Hundreds of 'No Ball Games' signs will be removed from council-owned or managed green spaces across Aberdeen, it was agreed today (Thursday).

The decision by councillors on the Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee means that Aberdeen City will be the first local authority in Scotland to phase out the warning notices.

The signage, located at various locations around the city, was erected over a number of years on a piecemeal basis at the request of local residents.

The aim was to deter what was regarded as anti-social behaviour, but it is understood that the signs have no legal status.

Aberdeen City Council Convener of Communities, Housing and Infrastructure, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: "This is a first for Scotland and it makes sense.

"The ban on ball games is unenforceable and the removal of these signs may help our kids become healthier by encouraging more outdoor play. Get out and get healthy – that's the message we are trying to get across here."

The removal of the signage was supported by a number of organisations, including Aberdeen Greenspace, Aberdeen Play Forum, Aberlour Futures, Aberdeen Council of Volunteer Organisations, Creative STAR Learning Company, Mud Pies, Play Scotland and Early Years Scotland.

The removal work, which will include several hundred signs, is due to be completed by UK National Play Day, which is on August 3, 2016.

There will be some small savings for the City Council on maintenance budgets, as there will be no ongoing maintenance or replacement costs of signs, no spraying around the signs and easier access for grass cutting.

It will also remove barriers to outdoor play for children and adults, which may lead to increased physical activity.

Any council tenants who have concerns about ball games and anti-social behaviour are encouraged to contact the Anti-Social Behaviour Investigation Team for advice and assistance on 08456 066 548 or by email ASBIT@aberdeencity.gov.uk