Question ref. S6W-08485
Asked by: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 12 May 2022
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the recommendations by the Dogs Trust, and with the aim of reducing the potential likelihood of stockpiling, whether it will consider limiting the sale of fireworks to one transaction per licence holder for each of the fireworks periods proposed in the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill.
Current status: Answered by Ash Regan on 26 May 2022
All of the measures within the Bill, including the licensing system, have been developed following a significant programme of consultation, engagement and evidence gathering. This includes the work of the independent advisory Firework Review Group, who considered all of the evidence available and took an options appraisal approach to make a series of recommendations for change to the Scottish Government. The licensing system implements the Group’s recommendation that mandatory conditions should be introduced at the point of sale of fireworks to ensure that the purchase and use of fireworks is a well thought out and planned transaction.
The licensing system has been carefully developed to ensure that robust checks and balances are in place before a member of the public can purchase and use fireworks. This includes a mandatory requirement to successfully complete a training course, which will inform applicants of how to use fireworks in a safe and considerate manner, and it is intended that this will include information about the rules and regulations around the safe storage of fireworks.
The policy objective of the licensing system is that those who are permitted to purchase, possess and use fireworks in Scotland know how to do so in a safe, lawful and considerate manner. Therefore, the licence does not specify how many firework transactions can take place during a permitted firework supply period. It is considered that this strikes the balance between introducing proportionate measures without placing overly restrictive barriers on the legitimate purchase and use of fireworks by members of the public. The Fireworks (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2021, which amended the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004, limit the quantity of fireworks that can be supplied to the general public at any one time to 5kg. Mitigations against stockpiling are also already in place through existing legislation - The Explosives Regulations 2014.
Consideration is also being given on how to incorporate messaging around stockpiling and the safe storage of fireworks in the national Scottish Government communications and awareness raising campaigns which are delivered in collaboration with partners each year over the bonfire period.