CALLS FOR RETAILER BAN ON FIREWORKS SALES

22nd October 2019

MP WRITES TO CEOs TO FOLLOW SAINSBURY’S LEAD WITH FIREWORK BAN AND HEED PUBLIC CALLS

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has written to the CEOs of major retailers to call for them to follow suit with Sainsbury’s and ban the sale of fireworks in their stores as Bonfire Night approaches.

Sainsbury’s announced their ban on Thursday (17 October) which Mrs Fellows supports due to the impact fireworks can have on the physical and mental wellbeing of people and animals.

Mrs Fellows has written to the CEOs of Asda, Tesco, Morrison’s, Lidl, Aldi, Spar, and The Range.

Last year, Mrs Fellows called for the UK Government to enforce greater regulations on the sale of fireworks when a constituent’s car was set on fire. The UK Government refused, and Mrs Fellows has since called for powers to be devolved to Scotland and made these calls again by signing a motion in Parliament.

A Scottish Government consultation found that 94% want tighter controls on the sale of fireworks; 92% feel there should be tighter controls on fireworks use; 93% want stronger regulations to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse; 87% would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks; and 70% reported being affected by fireworks used in an irresponsible or unsafe way.

Scottish Minister, Ash Denham MSP, said she will make a statement to Parliament soon on what steps the Scottish Government will be taking using its limited powers.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“It is the explicit view of people in Motherwell, Wishaw and Bellshill, and communities across Scotland that there must be tighter controls on the sale of fireworks. If the UK Government won’t act, then retailers who sell fireworks must take a portion of the responsibility for the harm fireworks are causing to peoples’ physical and mental wellbeing and stop selling them.

“Every year as Bonfire Night approaches, my office is inundated with complaints about fireworks. Some incidents can result in detrimental and lifechanging consequences for people and their families.

“Young children, people with PTSD – including our veterans – and people with Autism Spectrum Conditions can all be mentally affected by fireworks. Pets and wild animals are also impacted.

“It is utterly heart breaking to hear that people do not feel safe or comfortable in their own homes and feel this way not just on Bonfire Night, but in the weeks leading up to it and after. Enough is enough.”