COLUMN by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie 

MANY thanks to all those communities across the district who organised bonfire night events and to the fire service who kept a watchful eye, including the Five Valleys Firework Display at Marling School and many others.

They are great for families to attend and importantly, they are part of our country’s rich history.

How different it might have been if Guy Fawkes had managed to blow up King James I at the opening of parliament in 1605 with those barrels of gunpowder in the cellars.

However, there is a downside to November 5 and I do receive a large number of emails from people with pets and livestock over concerns about the noise that fireworks create.

The celebrations are not limited to fireworks night – they can go on for days either side with animals and pets terrified and even having to be sedated.

Those who are suffering the effects of PTSD, like some veterans or people suffering other mental health issues can also be badly affected by fireworks and the unexpected sounds they generate.

Local people look to me and other MPs to review the law around fireworks and regulations on sales.

Technology has moved on and silent fireworks are now available to use, for example.

I am not instinctively someone who likes to ban things but I have communicated constituents’ concerns around firework noise to the fire service in the past and I will work with colleagues on guidelines and laws where necessary.

There is a case for ministers to look at law from other countries, including recent Scottish legislation tightening up when fireworks can take place.

There is a village in Italy that has banned fireworks unless they are silent to protect local livestock.

In other news, this week I was the first Stroud MP ever to second the Humble Address to His Majesty thanking him for his King’s Speech.

As I am writing this, I remain confident this 2023 State Opening of Parliament will go smoothly.