Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the recommendations of the Firework Review Group established by the Scottish Government which has called for tighter restrictions on the availability of fireworks to tackle anti social behaviour.

The independent group have called for the introduction of no firework zones and have also made recommendations to restrict the days and times that fireworks can be set off.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, the SNP MSP for Cunninghame South welcomed the review group’s recommendation that the views of communities should be used to guide any changes to legislation which will affect their local areas and asked how the Scottish Government would ensure this would happen.

Community Safety Minister, Ash Denham said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the voices of people and communities, particularly those who have experienced negative consequences of fireworks use.

“The public consultation on fireworks which ran for 14 weeks in 2019, so an incredible response from the public of over 16,000 responses, and that public voice demonstrated a strong desire for change. We are going to continue this open and collaborative approach with communities and be guided by them.”

Providing further comment, Ms Maguire said: “Here in North Ayrshire, and right across Scotland, there is widespread public support to crack down on the negative impact of anti-social 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: “I am pleased to set out the recommendations from the Firework Review Group.  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 Firework Review Group report to the Scottish Government can be viewed online.

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

The Scottish Government’s public consultation on fireworks ran for 14 weeks and closed in May 2019. 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

Ruth’s question to the Scottish Government can be viewed below: