SPARKS are flying after council chiefs confirmed there will be no official Bonfire Night celebrations for Peterlee this year.
The decision was made at a town council meeting before the 2014-15 budget was set.
Town council leader, Councillor Bill Jeffrey, insists the reason is because of health and safety, and congestion caused by heavy traffic.
But fellow town councillor Andrew Watson, of the Free and Independent Representation Party, claims it is due to cost-cutting.
The event is said to cost between £4,000 and £7,000 to stage.
Coun Jeffrey said: “It wasn’t done because of money, it was done because of health and safety.
“Last year there was a lot of congestion – people couldn’t get in or out.
“But where do you stand if there’s an emergency?”
But Coun Watson said: “The reason is they can’t afford it, it’s a money-saving exercise. Durham County Council and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service recommend people go to an organised display.”