CONCERNED residents are worried about large groups of Priestley students smoking outside their homes after the college introduced a smoking ban.

Residents in nearby Menin Avenue, Latchford, have witnessed students sitting on their garden walls and dropping cigarette butts after they were banned from smoking in college grounds.

One resident was shocked to find 21 young people smoking outside her home on one occasion.

But the college says the smoking ban is working to promote healthier choices for its pupils.

Matthew Grant, principal of Priestley College said: "We are the last educational establishment in Warrington to introduce a smoking ban, but we felt it was important to do so as we have a duty to set an example to the communities we serve.

"This includes our own students, but also the increasing number of pupils from around Warrington who visit our campus for sports tournaments and taster sessions.

"Since the ban was introduced we have continued to work hard to promote a healthy lifestyle within college and supported those who want to quit smoking.

"Students have been told we will not tolerate any negative impact their behaviour might have on our neighbours and we have seen a considerable improvement in the past few weeks.

"We will continue to work with neighbours, our local councillor, and the smoking cessation team from Warrington Borough Council to address the matter."