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Petition launched to ban fireworks in Southside neighbourhood

·4-min read
Petition launched to ban fireworks in Southside neighbourhood
Petition launched to ban fireworks in Southside neighbourhood

A PETITION has been launched to introduce a no-firework area in a neighbourhood in Glasgow’s Southside, after “firework riots”.

We previously reported residents of Pollokshields have been campaigning to ban fireworks from their neighbourhood.

Late last month, they succeeded in pushing for a bill that will help make streets across Scotland safer from pyrotechnics, including the powers for councils to establish firework control zones.

However, the Scottish Government explained that the control zones will "require further legislation and guidance" before they can begin and operate to their "full intended effect".

Campaigner Danny Phillips has now launched a petition to encourage Glasgow City Council to ban fireworks from Pollokshields as soon as it can.

Glasgow Times: Danny Phillips has been campaigning to ban fireworks from Glasgow's Pollokshields after episodes of misuse.
Glasgow Times: Danny Phillips has been campaigning to ban fireworks from Glasgow's Pollokshields after episodes of misuse.

Danny Phillips has been campaigning to ban fireworks from Glasgow's Pollokshields after episodes of misuse.

He said: “If there’s an area that should become a no-firework zone, that’s Pollokshields.

“This bill came out of the fact that we had ‘firework riots’, as police have described them, about four years ago.

“We’ve been promised action for years now. We are worried that the council is lagging behind and not taking this seriously.”

READ MORE: Battlefield streets to get redesign to 'prioritise people over vehicles'

The Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill, passed in June this year, introduces a fireworks licensing system with mandatory safety training for anyone to purchase and use fireworks.

It also introduces powers for local authorities to designate firework control zones.

Campaigners want a control zone to be introduced in Pollokshields before Guy Fawkes, after terrifying scenes of firework misuse on Bonfire Night in 2018, when gangs set off pyrotechnics in the street, injuring a young child and firing rockets at police.

Glasgow Times: Image of the
Glasgow Times: Image of the

Image of the "firework riots" in Pollokshields in 2018.

“We’ve only got a few months to go before we need to get all that set up and we’ve heard nothing,” added Mr Phillips.

“We also need to know from the police that they are going to go around and they are going to enforce it.

“We need to know what to do. What do we do if people do start setting off fireworks in Pollokshields?”

“As a community we need to show how angry we are about it and how important this is to people in the area - sign the petition, get in touch with our councillors, and just push this and get it over the line.”

READ MORE: Trial set for those facing charges for Kenmure Street protest in Pollokshields

However, enforcement of the law might not start until 2023.

Glasgow City Council said local authorities currently do not have the powers to enforce firework control zones.

A spokesperson said: “The new legislation has not yet been enacted.

“Once it is and guidance is available to local authorities, we will study it closely.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Work will now begin as a priority to implement the measures within the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles Bill, recently passed by Parliament.

“The provisions on firework control zones will require further legislation and guidance before they can commence and operate to their full intended effect. Time will therefore be required, following Royal Assent, to prepare such legislation and for this to be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament.

“It is therefore anticipated that the earliest it could commence is next year.”

Police Scotland said it is aware of Pollokshields residents’ concerns and will ensure appropriate plans are in place before Bonfire Night for deterring and detecting any offences.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

Inspector Cenny Smith said: “The new regulations relating to the sale of fireworks have been introduced following continued multi-agency discussion on how to appropriately address antisocial behaviour where fireworks are involved, while at the same time ensuring that communities feel safe.

“Policing alone cannot tackle fireworks-related disorder and parents and guardians of young people have a vital role to play by having very frank conversations with those in your care about the risks of getting involved in criminal activity with fireworks.

“We will do all we can to prevent these incidents occurring in the first place, but should they happen, we will respond in whatever means necessary to protect the public.”

You can sign the petition here.