Firework control zones: guidance for local authorities

Guidance which details the process local authorities should follow for designating, amending, or revoking a firework control zone within their boundaries.

Foreword from the Minister for Victims and Community Safety and COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson

We are delighted to share this guidance, which supports the introduction of the new firework control zones powers for local authorities from the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022. This is a key milestone in the journey towards a cultural change in Scotland's relationship with fireworks.

The introduction of a discretionary power for local authorities to designate firework control zones implements a key recommendation of the Firework Review Group: that local authorities should be able to, with input from communities, establish whether there is a need for the use of fireworks to be restricted in specific areas. Firework control zones have been carefully designed to fit the Scottish context, and will allow communities across Scotland to have a far greater say in how fireworks can be used in their local area.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to local authorities on the consideration and implementation of control zones. It will also support partner organisations (such as the emergency services) in understanding the roles they have in establishing and operating control zones. Firework control zones will be one of the tools available to local authorities to help tackle issues associated with fireworks, alongside other enforcement and preventative measures.

This guidance document has been developed in collaboration with key delivery stakeholders through the Firework Control Zones Working Group.

We would like to sincerely thank all of the organisations that participated and guided the process of developing this guidance.

Those living and working in communities have also directly shaped this guidance. Their input has, once again, brought to the fore the scale of the impact that the use of fireworks can have. We heard from a range of communities about the depth of feeling which this topic elicits. As well as the unacceptable scenes of antisocial behaviour involving fireworks misuse which we unfortunately hear about each year, there can be wider impacts on a range of vulnerable groups, on animals, and on the environment too.

The introduction of firework control zones follows years of consultation, engagement and evidence gathering. This includes in 2019, when the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on the sale and use of fireworks. Over 16,000 people responded, indicating an overwhelming desire for greater controls over how fireworks can be used in Scotland.

While the introduction of firework control zones is an important step in our journey, it is not the end. Firework control zones are just one part of a suite of complementary measures in the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022. Work will continue to implement the remaining provisions within the Act, and we look forward to the positive impact that these measures will bring for Scotland.

We would like to once again thank the participants of the Firework Control Zones Working Group, and those communities who have engaged in this process, for their efforts in helping to shape this guidance, and for their continued support in progressing a cultural change in Scotland's relationship with fireworks.

Siobhian Brown MSP, Minister for Victims and Community Safety

Cllr Maureen Chalmers, COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson



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