By Peter Dobbs
Banners like this one have been displayed in Council parks for some months now. They can hardly be described as 'subtle' in their messaging and whoever designed them was not a student of the 'gentle nudge' approach to behavioural change. However their message is clear on BBQs - don't light one in this park.
This appears to be about to change - unless a public consulation here allows some sense to prevail.
The only way 'rules' on such things as dog fouling and lighting barbecues can be enforced is by so called 'Public Space Protection Orders' - PSPOs.
At the September meeting of the DDDC Community and Environment committee there was a proposal that several aspects of these PSPOs were to be changed, the most controversial of which was on BBQs.
It is hard to understand the logic of the argument presented but in essence it seems to be this - DDDC do not want people to light barbecues in our parks and moorland, however because they are not in a position to enforce this and because it does not seem to be a particularly large problem at the moment, they are going to stop making it illegal.
I don't think that this subtle argument will fit on a banner. I think that most people will interpret it the way that the Ashbourne News Telegraph has done - you will soon be able to have a barbecue in the park!
If you do not think this is a good idea then make your views known in the consultation.