Rutherglen MSP backs strong action to cut down on firework sales

Rutherglen’s MSP has backed new legislation aimed at cutting down on the amount of fireworks being set off.

Clare Haughey says the issue is one that she has been contacted about regularly and that she hopes the new Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill will make a difference.

Among proposals in the new bill, which follows the report of an independent Firework Review Group, are restricting what days fireworks can be sold by, giving councils new powers to designate zones where the public cannot set off the fireworks, and introducing a fireworks licensing system .

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An analysis of the public consultation, published in December 2021, showed strong support for key measures in the Bill amongst those who responded.

The Bill, published earlier this month, also suggests establishing a new offense to criminalize the supply of fireworks and pyrotechnics to under-18s to ensure adults do not purchase such products on behalf of children.

It would introduce a new offense of being in possession of a pyrotechnic while at, or traveling to, certain places or events, without reasonable excuse.

Rutherglen MSP Ms Haughey told Lanarkshire Live: “Since my election, one of the most frequent issues raised with me is the excessive levels of local firework use at times.

Clare Haughy
Clare Haughey hopes the new legislation will make a difference

“I’ve heard complaints about the noise and disturbance of fireworks, the additional resourcing of emergency services, anti-social behavior and the misuse of fireworks, and animal welfare concerns.

“Whilst implementing a ban on fireworks is reserved to the UK Government, I have been in contact with the Scottish Government on numerous occasions to ask what they could do to curb fireworks misuse.

“As such, I am delighted this new Bill has now been published – taking strong action now to avoid harm, distress and injury.”

Meanwhile, East Kilbride MSP Collette Stevenson, said: “I am sure the majority of my constituents here in East Kilbride will welcome these reasonable proposals.

“The Scottish Government have undertaken significant engagement and gathered evidence on this issue. There is strong public support for these measures and for tougher action to take place.

“Inappropriate use of fireworks and pyrotechnics such as flares causes harm and serious injury.

“They distress people, pets and the wider community too, so I am hopeful there is cross-party support for these proposals to help further improve safety in our communities across Scotland.”

The Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill will now start its legislative process through Parliament, with MSPs scrutinizing the proposed legislation over several stages.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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