ACTION NEEDED TO TACKLE IRRESPONSIBLE USE OF FIREWORKS

With bonfire night approaching, I led for the SNP in a debate on fireworks, where I once again called for greater licensing on the sale of fireworks, to prevent the anti-social behaviour and injury that we all too often see.

It’s clear that when used correctly, fireworks are a wonderful spectacle, and millions of people enjoy firework displays safely at various events every year. Unfortunately, fireworks can also cause a great deal of alarm, distress and anxiety for both people and animals, and when used irresponsibly by individuals, can cause huge disruption and danger in communities.

Irresponsible use of fireworks leads to accidents and injuries, which puts extra pressure on our emergency services. Community displays have been cancelled due to Covid19 this year, but there is concern that there could be a spike in personal use of fireworks, and the accidents this use brings will ultimately lead to greater pressure on our NHS as it fights a second wave of coronavirus infections.

In Scotland, the use of fireworks is devolved, but the sale of fireworks is reserved. Unfortunately, if those who act irresponsibly can get their hands on fireworks, then it does not matter what the rules are, they will be ignored. A recent consultation by the Scottish Government found that 87% of people would welcome a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public. If the UK Government will not act, it must devolve the necessary powers to the Scottish Government so we can act for ourselves to tackle this problem at its source.

You can watch my speech below.

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