The Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs has labelled the Labour government’s proposals for voluntary council bans on the release of sky lanterns ‘not nearly enough’ to deal with the problem.
Antoinette Sandbach has been campaigning for much stricter controls on sky lanterns for over two years. The North Wales Assembly Member has tabled a motion for debate in the Assembly next week – calling for restrictions on their sale.
Discussions have also taken place with farmers, fire leaders and small businesses – and next Wednesday’s short debate is supported by Assembly Members from both the Liberal Democrats and Plaid.
Some UK shops have stopped selling sky lanterns, while countries such as Austria, Germany, Brazil, Chile and Argentina have a ban on sales.
Ms Sandbach said:
“It’s only a matter of time before sky lanterns are blamed for serious injury - or worse – and a voluntary council ban simply isn’t enough to deal with this problem.
“While I welcome some movement from the Labour minister on this issue – clearly prompted by my debate – I believe there is far more that should be seriously considered.
“Next week the Assembly will have a chance to discuss the merits of a restriction on sales and I hope the views of farmers, fire chiefs and small businesses are taken into account.”