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Scotland's councils are demanding changes to the present arrangements governing the sale of fireworks. ...
Scotland's councils are demanding changes to the present arrangements governing the sale of fireworks.

Cosla has been asked by its member councils to lobby central government to amend existing legislation following an unprecedented increase in the number of complaints from the public.

So concerned are some councils that they have called for an outright ban on the sale of fireworks.

A Cosla task group led by North Lanarkshire Council heard yesterday that fireworks are no longer something which are restricted to a week before and a few days after 5 November but are now a 365-day a year problem.

Another frequent complaint is that the power of domestic fireworks is now much greater than before, meaning much bigger, noisier and potentially more dangerous devices than in previous years.

The councils' concerns are fully backed by both the fire and police services in Scotland as well as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Police figures show that the 2001 fireworks season was something of a watershed with a significant increase in the use and abuse of fireworks with all force areas reporting a sharp increase in complaints. This statistical evidence is also backed up by Fire Brigade Service figures.

Tom Maginnis, chair of the Cosla task group said: 'Change is needed and that is what we will be demanding. Part of our remit is to identify the changes that will be most beneficial to have and we will then take the matter up with the Westminster government.'

Mr Maginnis concluded: 'The misuse of fireworks has become a serious community safety problem causing considerable stress, upset and annoyance to both the quality of peoples lives and to family pets and livestock. The matter has in recent times got out of hand and urgent change and a tightening of legislation is now needed.'

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