A Glasgow street trader has been refused permission to operate a stall during the upcoming GlasGLOW event after councillors heard he sold dangerous balloons for children.
Trading standards staff seized the balloons from trader Rowland Hill’s staff after hearing they had failed safety checks elsewhere.
Hill, who wanted a licence to sell goods outside the Botanic Gardens during the GlasGLOW event, said staff burst the balloons costing £3.50 each in front of him.
Hill’s son was also accused of being “abusive” during the incident, a licensing and regulatory committee heard this week.
Describing the confiscation of the products Hill said: “They literally just stabbed them in front of us with a pen. No qualms – they said they had heard about them being illegal in England.”
Hill pointed out the items were sold in 2018 and were a “best seller.”
Committee chair Councillor Alex Wilson, SNP, said the products were not marked with manufacturer, importer or identification details. There was no warning that they were unsuitable for children under three-years-old.
Councillor Wilson added: “The exposed LED wire from the balloon formed a noose which did not separate under testing. This means children under three could wrap the wire around their head becoming tangled and potentially lead to strangulation.”
He told the meeting the battery compartment could be easily accessed by children.
Councillor Wilson added: “It looks as if these products were substandard and were being sold in Glasgow.”
Hill replied: “I totally agree. We stopped selling them straight away.”
Insisting he didn’t know about the safety risk, he claimed the “whole of Britain was selling them for about 19 months.”
The meeting heard the products had failed safety checks elsewhere and trading standards staff asked Hill for supplier information.
He hasn’t handed over the details to date.
Concerns were also raised about congestion in the area around the street trading site outside the Botanic Gardens with people heading to the event.
Hill added: “This is my livelihood. I have plenty of kids to keep.”
Hill was refused a licence to operate at the west side of Queen Margaret Drive, 30 metres north of Great Western Road between October 26 and November 14.
By Sarah Hilley, Local Democracy reporter