High Peak MP calls for sky lantern ban in House of Commons

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High Peak MP Ruth George is calling for sky lanterns to be banned in England - following a spate of moorland fires last summer.

In July last year there was a public outcry when a lantern festival was organised at Buxton Raceway - despite raging infernos in the Derbyshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire countryside.

However Lights Fest organisers finally heeded calls by Mrs George, the fire service and the Peak District National Park to cancel the event.

At the time more than 9,000 people signed a petition at Change.org calling for the event to be cancelled.

The Labour MP was due to introduce a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons today calling for their ban.

She said: “Last year I was shocked that a Sky Lantern Festival was organised on the moorlands of High Peak - at a time when wild fires were raging and our fire service was pushed to its limit.

“I was appalled that in spite of opposition from Derbyshire Fire Service and local councils there was no legislation to enable them to prevent such a dangerous event going ahead.

“Sky lanterns are airborne flames – you cannot predict where they will land and they have caused several major fires in recent years.

“They are also a danger to wildlife and farm animals and a cause of littering in wild and beautiful places like the Peak District.

“That’s why I’m introducing a Ten Minute Rule Bill to prohibit their use. Communities, farmers, and especially our fire service need to know that they are safe.”