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'No ball games' plea turned down

29 October 07 14:12 GMT

Residents in North Lanarkshire who wanted to ban youngsters from playing football in the street have lost their fight.

Council officials have decided to turn down requests for "No ball games" signs because they are not legally enforceable.

It follows a series of petitions from people complaining about noise levels and damage to gardens.

The council said in some cases the signs caused neighbourhood disputes.

Any future requests for signs to be erected will be turned down unless there is a clear road safety risk.

Community tensions

Graham Mackay, head of roads and transportation with North Lanarkshire Council, said: "It is has become clear in recent years that 'No ball games' signs are not effective in preventing young people from playing with balls in residential areas.

"In fact, they have been known to cause tensions between neighbours, and the council was increasingly being asked to remove the signs altogether.

"Additionally the signs are merely there to advise young people that ball games might be considered a nuisance. There is no basis in law to enforce the instruction.

Mr Mackay said that if anyone had a serious problem with anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood then they should contact the council's Anti-Social Task Force for advice.

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