Lanterns and fireworks ban

Chinese lanterns.
Chinese lanterns.

Midlothian Council has decided to ban letting off fireworks and Chinese lanterns on public land owned by the council, excluding organised displays.

The decision was made following a motion raised at last week’s full council meeting by Councillor Peter De Vink (Ind), calling for a ban Chinese lanterns over safety fears, particularly regarding farms, following pleas by The National Farmers Union of Scotland for a ban.

He said: “It’s very straightforward. These Chinese lanterns appear to be very harmless. They are very emotional things that people put up into the air without really thinking about it, but the consequences are quite severe.

“The National Farmers Union of Scotland is quite right to point out that it brings an enormous number of dangerous aspects with it.

“Like the other eight local councils that have already banned this we in Midlothian should do the same.”

The motion was amended to include fireworks following comments from Councillor Adam Montgomery (Lab), who said: “I think if we are going to ban Chinese lanterns on council ground then we should ban fireworks as well. They are every bit as lethal and dangerous as Chinese lanterns. I just think in terms of public safety it’s a no brainer.”

The ban does not extend to organised displays on council-owned property. It also doesn’t extend to council tenants’ back gardens etc. The ban is for public land owned by the council.