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'Widespread support' for crackdown on fireworks, says Highland MSP; Call for restrictions overwhelmingly backed by survey figures


By Hector MacKenzie

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While many flock to organised events in normal circumstances, private displays can be a prolonged source of irritation and a cause of distress to animals in particular.
While many flock to organised events in normal circumstances, private displays can be a prolonged source of irritation and a cause of distress to animals in particular.

Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd has welcomed calls for a "fundamental shift" in the way fireworks are bought and sold in Scotland.

The independent Firework Review Group, established by the Scottish Government, has called for the introduction of no firework zones and tighter restrictions on the use of fireworks to help tackle anti-social behaviour at this time of year.

The group, chaired by former chief fire officer Alasdair Hay, also recommended:

• the introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers

• restricting the times of day fireworks can be sold and volume of fireworks that can be purchased at any one time

• restricting the days and times fireworks can be set off

• the creation of a proxy purchasing offence to prevent adults from buying fireworks on behalf of those under the age of 18

Maree Todd MSP: Widespread public support for a crackdown on the negative impact of antisocial fireworks use.
Maree Todd MSP: Widespread public support for a crackdown on the negative impact of antisocial fireworks use.

Ross-shire based SNP MSP Maree Todd said: “Here in the Highlands and islands, and right across Scotland, there is widespread public support to crack down on the negative impact of antisocial firework use.This SNP Government is determined to make these recommendations a reality and help keep our local communities safe from the harmful use of fireworks.

“Tomorrow is Bonfire Night, and I would ask those who plan on using fireworks to do so responsibly and be mindful of their neighbours – the noise of fireworks can have a real impact on those with sensory issues, on pets and on livestock. Stay safe.”

Chair of the review group and former chief fire officer, Alasdair Hay, said: “We have carefully considered the available evidence and believe a step change is needed in how fireworks are accessed and used by the general public.

"This is not to prevent adults using fireworks sensibly and safely – rather, to ensure all safety requirements are fully understood and adhered to, and the impact on others has been fully considered.”

The Scottish Government’s public consultation on fireworks ran for 14 weeks and closed in May 2019. A total of 16,420 responses were received. It found:

•94% of people want to see tighter controls on the sale of fireworks

•93% want to see stronger regulations to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse

•92% feel there should be tighter controls on fireworks use

•87% would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks

What do you think? Drop a line to newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk or write to us at the address on our letters page. Or have your say online in our straw poll - click here to vote.



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