Midlothian set to ban fireworks

Labour councilor Adam Montgomery outside Midlothian House
Labour councilor Adam Montgomery outside Midlothian House

Midlothian Council could be set to become the first ever 
local authority in Scotland to ban the sale of fireworks to members of the public.

A motion by Councillor Adam Montgomery (Lab) calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to individuals was unanimously passed at the latest full council meeting. It will now be taken forward by the Community Planning Board with involvement from police and fire services.

In moving the motion Councillor Montgomery stated that heightened tensions following the Paris bombings had prompted him to call for fireworks only to be sold to organisers of licensed displays.

He had been contacted by a number of constituents who shared his concerns.

He said: “This is a move to ensure that misuse of fireworks is reduced, and we will work with the Police and Fire services to have a viable sales system in operation to prevent random usage of what are now explosive devices and far removed from what were traditionally bangers and sparklers on bonfire night.

“A couple of days after the tragic events in Paris a firework was set off in the street causing mass panic and alarm to people going about their normal business.

“I can only imagine if one of these large devices were activated at an airport or railway station that mayhem would ensue.

“Newbattle High School in Midlothian was subjected to a lockdown for a period in 2014 when explosions were heard near the school which later turned out to be firework misuse, and this is a further example of why restricting sales should be progressed to help prevent this type of incident from reoccurring.

“On another front, four dogs went missing last year in Midlothian due to indiscriminate use of fireworks with the resulting upset to owners.

“There is quite simply no argument against sales being limited to licensed displays. This will allow people to continue to enjoy bonfire night in a safe environment for everyone.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Any byelaw proposed by the local authority on this issue would have to be agreed by Scottish Ministers. It would not be appropriate to comment further until any proposals are put forward for careful consideration.”