Leader comment: Get rid of all ‘No Ball Games’ signs

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The very idea of a sign reading “no dog fouling” in the city’s greenspaces has always baffled me.

Are there any areas of Edinburgh where dog fouling is actively encouraged?

Why do we need an ugly sign stating the obvious when the evidence of a ruined pair of shoes is that it is going to be ignored by persistent offenders in any case? But while that message may baffle, the sign which surely irritates the most is the infamous “No Ball Games”.

To a child it might as well say “no fun here” or “just forget exercise and veg out in front of the TV”.

Happily such orders are gradually disappearing across the country, and in Edinburgh the council has said they will no longer be enforced. But they do still exist as a physical barrier to play.

Today, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire leads calls for Scotland’s councils to dump the killjoy message, and it’s long overdue.

As a nation facing rising rates of childhood obesity, we need to be encouraging children at every opportunity to get outside, run around and, if they want, kick a ball. Kids have just as much right to enjoy our parks and greenspaces as anyone else. Let’s get rid of the anti-fun signs once and for all.