I was pleased to lead for Scottish National Party (SNP) in a recent debate on the use of fireworks.
We would all agree that when used correctly, fireworks are an enjoyable spectacle. Anyone fortunate enough to have attended a publicly organised firework display will no doubt have enjoyed it, and I would not wish would want to interfere with that.
However, we also need to take account of the distress, danger and anxiety that fireworks too often cause to both people and animals, and the increased pressure on our emergency services which problems associated with fireworks bring to bear.
The situation in Scotland is nothing short of bizarre: the use of fireworks is a devolved matter and the The Scottish Parliament has restricted when fireworks can be set off, but the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster. It does not take a genius to work out that unless we tackle in some way the sale of fireworks and who can get their hands on them, we cannot properly influence over who uses them, which makes this extremely difficult to police.
I warmly welcome the consultation which the Scottish Governmenthas launched on the use of fireworks, but the nub of the issue is their sale, which is reserved to the Westminster Parliament. The awaited action from the Office for Product Safety, promised by the UK government
has not materialised, and this fudge cannot continue to be dodged or ignored. It needs to follow the lead of the Scottish Government on this matter.
It is time to undertake a review of the sale of fireworks outside of public licensed displays. We need to consult with the public so that their voice is heard on this important issue