Hampshire County Council looks to crack down on use of Chinese lanterns

A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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CHINESE lanterns could soon be banned from county council-owned property as a council leader responds to concerns from animal welfare charities.

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 at his decision day on September 26.

This motion comes on the back of concerns from the RSPCA and other organisations, which fear for the safety of animals which might injure themselves on the wire debris the lanterns leave behind.

Cllr Perry said: ‘We’ve been concerned about the safety of sky lanterns and the potential damage they can cause for some time.

‘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, 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.’

In 2011, county councillors unanimously passed a motion calling on the government to ban the use of sky lanterns. The council also wrote to district councils asking them to ban their use when issuing licences for open-air events.