MALDON District Council are backing a young girl’s wishes for people not to smoke in public park areas.

New posters have gone on display across parks in the district which ask adults not to smoke in children’s play areas.

The posters were designed, drawn and submitted by nine-year-old Emily from Burnham, who wrote to Maldon District Council about how she didn’t like the smell of cigarettes and wanted to have the children’s play zones in the district as a smoke-free area.

Councillors from MDC have gotten behind Emily’s idea.

Council vice-chairman and Burnham Town Councillor Neil Pudney said: “I would like to support this message. As a retired nurse I have seen the dangers of smoking first hand and what it can do to other people.

“It is really important that young people take an interest in their local area and I would like to congratulate Emily for her idea.

“I hope people will be considerate of the wishes of the young people who use the play areas.”

Matt Wilson, countryside and coast manager for MDC, said: “Our countryside and coast team work really hard to provide safe and fun children’s play areas throughout the district, supporting children to be healthy and active.

“We agreed with Emily that children’s play areas should be smoke free and her posters are now displayed across a number of local parks.”

Ben Page, health improvement officer, said: “Second hand smoke is especially harmful to children, including reducing lung growth, wheezing and triggering asthma attacks.

“It can also cause ear infections amongst many other consequences. It should not be anywhere near children or playgrounds.”