Balloon goes up over harmful releases

Angus has put measures in place to stop the environmentally harmful release of helium-filled balloons and sky lanterns in the county.

Balloon and sky lantern release at public events in Angus is now prohibited by a new civic licensing condition. The imposition of the standard condition on Public Entertainment Licences was agreed by the council’s Civic Licensing Committee on August 6.

Angus Licensing Board, which also met on August 6, agreed to impose the same standard condition to occasional licences and occasional extensions of licensed hours.

Councillor Alex King, the Civic Licensing convener and vice-chair of Angus Licensing Board, said that while the mass release of balloons and lanterns can look impressive they create significant environmental hazards.

He continued: “Balloon and lantern releases at fundraising and celebratory events have been on the increase but there is quite literally a significant downside to their use - what goes up must come down.

“The fallen detritus from these balloons and lanterns not only litters the countryside, it is hazardous to wildlife and livestock and can injure people and damage buildings.

“Similar conditions have been applied by councils across the UK. By applying them in Angus we can prevent further environmental damage and help to raise public awareness of the problem.”

The council’s Communities Committee on August 18 will consider a report setting out a policy to prohibit intentional balloon and lantern releases on council owned land and property, by council staff, and at events endorsed or supported by the council, including those on non-council land.