Published in the Glenrothes Gazette and East Fife Mail on 1 November 2023
As we come into November, I hope that everyone who took part in the Halloween festivities had a wonderful time. My nephew dressed as a pumpkin – well, his Mum dressed him as one, I’m not sure how much choice he had in the matter. Seeing my niece, who is 3, so excited for Halloween was lovely. Carving a Peppa Pig into a pumpkin is now on my list of essential skills.
I hope folk were able to attend some of the local Halloween events held here in the constituency, whether that be the Fife Heritage Railway’s ‘Trains of Terror,’ or the terrifyingly decorated Halloween House in Leven, raising money for Archie from Markinch.
Now that Halloween has passed, that means Bonfire Night is just around the corner. Although there are no displays being held in the constituency this year, there are several nearby such as at Knockhill Racing Circuit from 2.30pm on Saturday, or at Buckhaven from 5pm on Sunday.
Whilst Bonfire Night is an event that I and many others look forward to, as with every year, it comes with its dangers too. That’s why the Scottish Government passed new legislation last year, The Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022, to keep people safe at this time of year. In June these laws came into force, giving local councils new powers to reduce the harmful impact of fireworks.
This includes designating Firework Control Zones where no fireworks are permitted – including in private homes and gardens – and limiting how many fireworks can be purchased. The Act also limits the times of day when fireworks can be used, and has made it illegal to supply fireworks to under 18’s. These new laws will be vital in keeping our communities and our families safe, while still being able to enjoy the fireworks season responsibly. They have also been welcomed by the SSPCA, Police Scotland, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
With two spaniels at home, I know how stressful it can be for pets at this time of year. Bonfire Night can be a really challenging time for animals, I know that dogs can get very distressed, so I want to highlight some advice given by the Dog’s Trust. The charity recommends that dog-owners make sure their house is secure, you walk your dog before it gets dark if you can, and to comfort your pet if they appear distressed at the noise. That way Bonfire Night can be enjoyed by the whole family. You can find out more information on https://www.dogstrust.org.uk
I hope that many of you can get out and see a display this weekend, and I also hope that those who do make sure to keep safe.