Bids submitted for strict firework controls in Scotland's biggest cities

If the control zones were enacted, it would make it an offence to let off fireworks in either city at designated times.

Bids submitted for strict firework controls in Scotland’s biggest cities Edinburgh and Glasgow STV News

Councillors have submitted motions to curb fireworks in two of Scotland’s biggest cities.

Scottish Greens councillors in both Edinburgh and Glasgow are seeking to crack down on noise pollution and the impacts on animals caused by the pyrotechnics, by having both their cities designated as Firework Control Zones.

If the control zones were enacted, it would make it an offence to let off fireworks in either city at designated times, outside of organised public displays which would be exempt. 

Councillor Jon Molyneux, Scottish Greens councillor for Pollokshields, who is moving a motion for controls in Glasgow, said: “While many people enjoy fireworks, there is growing public awareness of the negative impacts they can cause.

“Whether that is by causing distress to animals or people with sensory issues, by harming local environments, or by fireworks being deliberately aimed at people and property, they are a nuisance that can be prevented. 

“The people who are most adversely affected by fireworks are not just confined to one or two areas. Creating a city-wide control zone would be a simple solution that would reduce the risk of simply displacing problematic firework use from one area to another.”

Councillor Dan Heap, who is introducing a motion for controls in Edinburgh to the Council’s Culture and Communities Committee, added: “I am glad that it is Greens that have enabled residents in Edinburgh to put their ideas forward on how best to protect animals and vulnerable people from firework noise, whilst protecting the right to responsibly use fireworks for events of religious and cultural significance.

“Firework Control Zones will limit emissions while protecting wildlife and pets and vulnerable residents. None of these issues are specific to particular areas of the city. That’s why a Zone covering the whole of Edinburgh makes sense. 

“We’re also concerned that designating particular areas of the city could stigmatise the residents of those areas, and that is the last thing the Council should be doing.”

The party’s justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said: “While firework displays have a traditional role at certain festivals in the year, they are also dangerous and cause significant distress to many people and animals.

“I am pleased that Scottish Green councillors are leading the change in their communities and hope that Scotland’s two biggest cities can support these important measures and set precedents for other local authorities to consider.”

The Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022 gave councils a new discretionary power to introduce Firework Control Zones.

Last June, the Scottish Government issued guidance on firework control zones for local authorities.

Communities can ask for a fireworks control zone to be considered for the following reasons: misuse of fireworks, injuries from fireworks, impact on vulnerable groups, environmental protection, and animal welfare.

Applications for fireworks control zones in both cities are now open.

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