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Council bans lanterns

ban lanternsAT A Cabinet meeting on Monday, members voted in favour of a voluntary ban on releasing sky (Chinese) lanterns and helium balloons from council land.

The council will also undertake a ‘communications exercise’ to make consumers and charity organisations aware of the risks of the lanterns and balloons, as well as the fact that they should not be released from council land.

Council leader Jamie Adams said: ‘This affects not just those in the countryside, but those in urban areas as well.

‘For example, where business premises are unmanned, there is a danger with regards to a potential fire hazard.’

There is increasing concern from a variety of organisations about the possible impact of sky lanterns and helium balloons on livestock and the environment.

The move follows a call for a ban by Cllr David Howlett, as well as guidance from the Welsh Government.Several high-profile fires, including a massive blaze at a recycling facility in Smethwick this summer, are thought to have been started by lanterns. They can also kill livestock if parts are ingested.