People in Scotland could be banned from holding fireworks displays in their gardens

People in Scotland could be banned from holding fireworks displays in their back gardens under plans to tighten restrictions on where and when they can be used.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 4:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 4:52 pm
Ministers are investigating ways to reduce the fear, alarm and damage caused by the misuse of fireworks and have convened an expert group to advise on possible measures.

Ministers are investigating ways to reduce the “fear, alarm and damage” caused by the misuse of fireworks and have convened an expert group to advise on possible measures.

Powers to restrict the sale of fireworks are reserved to Westminster, but the Scottish Parliament could tighten other regulations to make it much more difficult to set them off legally.

These include placing restrictions on the use of fireworks on private property, which could see the end of small scale events held in people's back gardens.

An action plan published by the Scottish Government said this could have a “significant impact” on the volume of fireworks being set off and the “associated noise and disruption” caused.

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Ministers are taking action after a public consultation found that 92 per cent of Scots support the introduction of tighter controls on the use of fireworks.

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Other measures set to be considered by the newly-created Firework Review Group will include restrictions on the dates and times when they can be set off.

Current regulations mean their use is typically prohibited between 11pm and 7am, but new measures could see the windows for displays shortened and certain dates banned entirely.

The group will also examine the introduction of “no firework” zones, which could outlaw their use within a certain distance of hospitals, retirement homes and animal shelters.

Shops could also be given shorter time windows in which to sell fireworks, with customers also facing individual limits on the volume that can be purchased.

As well as tightening regulations, the action plan also said people could be encouraged to ditch home fireworks displays in favour of community ones through increased promotional activity.

“It has become clear that our relationship with fireworks in Scotland is not all positive,” it said.

“For some, the noise made by setting off fireworks can be a nuisance, and the disturbance can cause distress to both people and animals.

“Every year we have seen antisocial behaviour involving the use of fireworks and the risk of injury caused by the misuse of fireworks remains a real concern.”

The review group, which will include representatives from the emergency services and trading standards officials, is expected to submit its recommendations next summer.

However, community safety minister Ash Denham told MSPs yesterday [TUES] any changes were unlikely to be in force until Bonfire Night 2021.