Nitrous Oxide advice must be updated, says local councillor

After Government advice on restricting the supply of nitrous oxide for recreational use was withdrawn, local councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has written to the Home Office seeking for an urgent update on the issue.

The advice was withdrawn three weeks ago (July 23), citing that it no longer represents Government policy, but with no link to any new advice, and no indication of replacement advice in the Home Office’s news and communications.

Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “There is no part of our borough where you do not see these small canisters left around, night after night. Both myself and the Liberal Democrat leader Howard Sykes have raised this at council meetings. We need to ensure that more is done to stop their abuse.

Sam Al-Hamdani, shadow cabinet for housing and homelessness

“As such, I have written to the Home Office today to ask where the replacement advice is, or if there is none, how soon it will be released. It is simply not good enough to withdraw this without having an alternative in place.”

The canisters are readily available on the internet and – due to its legal uses – over the counter. Potentially, users can lose consciousness due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, and long-term side effects include psychosis and depression. In the aftermath of the illegal rave in Daisy Nook, thousands of canisters were found.

“This is a problem which is not going away,” continued Sam. “Previous changes to legislation have failed to stem its use. Hopefully the withdrawal of this advice is a sign of progress on a new policy, but as nothing public seems to have replaced it, we simply don’t know. It seems to be another indication of a Government that is reacting, and not planning.”

Published and promoted by Oldham Liberal Democrats, Booth House, Featherstall Road South, Oldham OL9 7TU. If you enter your details on this website, the Liberal Democrats, locally and nationally, may use information in it, including your political views, to further our objectives, share it with our elected representatives and/or contact you in future using any of the means provided. Some contacts may be automated. You may opt out of some or all contacts or exercise your other legal rights by contacting us. Further details are in our Privacy Policy at