At his Decision Day on 26 September 2014, the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry will be considering a ban on the use of ‘sky lanterns’ on all County Council-owned property.
Hampshire is responding to a call by the RSPCA and many other organisations concerned by these sky lanterns.
Back in 2011, the County Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government to ban the use of sky lanterns. It also wrote to district councils in Hampshire asking them to ban the sale or use of sky lanterns when issuing Premises Licences for open-air events.
Since then, sky lanterns have given rise to a growing number of safety concerns due to their fire risk and risk to livestock, animals and damage to crops and property.
Councillor Perry said “We’ve been concerned about the safety of sky lanterns and the potential damage they can cause for some time and debated the matter three years ago. As well as their impact on the environment, livestock and animals including littering on land and at sea, they are a potential hazard to air traffic, coastal shipping and consumer safety.“
“Given these concerns, and in the absence of a Government ban, at my decision day as Executive Member for Policy and Resources, on 26 September, I will be considering a ban on their use on all County Council-owned property. I will also be considering writing to schools urging them to consider imposing a similar ban relating to events and activities in their grounds and premises.“