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CALLS FOR RETAILER BAN ON FIREWORKS SALES

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.”

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THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN: FIREWORKS UPDATE

I have already been contacted by some constituents this year regarding the anti-social use of fireworks. I have previously called for the UK Government to restrict their sale and if they are unwilling, then they must devolve this to the Scottish Parliament.

A poll has found overwhelming support for tighter controls which I fully support. To prevent anti-social behaviour; ensure the welfare of our veterans who may suffer from PTSD; and to protect our pets, we must see tighter controls.

Scottish Minister, Ash Denham, will update the Scottish Parliament in the coming weeks on what action the Scottish Government will take using its limited powers to reduce the damage caused by fireworks.

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“ROCKET ATTACK RISKED LIVES”, SAYS MP

FURTHER CALLS FOR REGULATION OF FIREWORKS FOLLOWING LOCAL ATTACK

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has called again for the UK Government to take action on the sale of fireworks after a local pregnant woman’s car was hit.

Marion wrote to UK Government Ministers in November last year following calls from local people to take action by limiting the sale of fireworks due to concerns for public safety, animal welfare and demand on emergency services.

Since then, a local person spoke to Marion about an incident that happened on the afternoon of Bonfire Night when a firework was fired randomly from of a bedroom window.  The firework flew straight through the front passenger windows of a parked car shattering the windows into thousands of pieces.

The owner of the car was pregnant, but thankfully was not in the car during the time.

A brave passer-by was quick enough to remove the burning rocket from the car before it was set alight.

Marion is calling for a local authority licensing system so that “red-tape” ensures “those who pre-planned purchasing fireworks and were prepared to go to the effort of applying to purchase them would be able to access them”.

Commenting, the father of the woman – who wishes to remain anonymous – said:

“Anti-social use of fireworks may seem like fun. But it could have had serious consequences for my family – and right before Christmas. I dread to think if something had happened.

“I’m glad Marion is taking up the issue with the UK Government. People in the area have had enough. It doesn’t make sense that anyone can have access to explosives which could impact peoples’ lives.

“While I’m glad no one was hurt, the damage to the car has caused massive inconvenience for us.”

Commenting, Marion Fellows said:

“People should not be allowed to walk into a shop and walk out with boxes of high grade explosives without any checks. As a result of the UK Government’s policy and someone’s idiotic actions, lives could have been lost or drastically altered. I am relieved that, on this occasion, no one was seriously hurt.

“Every year the community expresses its concerns about the irresponsible use of fireworks and their impact on public safety. Animals become traumatised and emergency services become stretched. There has to be greater regulation while still allowing people to enjoy them.

“We can’t continue to have a system that puts people at risk and that the means to take part in serious anti-social behaviour go unchecked. The UK Government needs to take action or devolve the powers to Scotland and allow communities here to decide for themselves.”

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MP CALLS FOR REGULATIONS ON FIREWORK SALES

COMMUNITY COMPLAINTS ON SAFETY, ANIMAL WELFARE AND DEMAND ON EMERGENCY SERVICESFireworks

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has called on the UK Government to regulate the sale of fireworks following numerous complaints from the community expressing concerns to public safety, animal welfare and demand on emergency services.

In a letter to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Mrs Fellows said that people wishing to buy fireworks should have to apply for permission.

She believes “additional red-tape would ensure that only those who pre-planned purchasing fireworks and were prepared to go to the effort of applying to purchase them would access them”.

The MP said that some people’s pets have been “traumatised” and “require medication” while emergency services experienced greater demand to tackle anti-social behaviour, fight fires and treat injuries.

Commenting Mrs Fellows said:

First of all, our emergency services deserve our thanks for the amazing work they have been doing over the past week to reduce harm to public.

Every year the community expresses its concerns about the irresponsible use of fireworks and their impact on public safety, animal welfare and emergency services. There has to be greater regulation while still allowing people to enjoy them.

Instead of allowing people to purchase fireworks unrestricted, there should be a license system where people will have to go to the effort of obtaining them.

This will drastically reduce the number of fireworks for personal use and encourage groups to responsibly organise their own displays for celebrations and also encourage people to attend displays organised by their local authorities.

We can’t continue to have a system that puts people at risk and that the means to take part in serious anti-social behaviour go unchecked.