Call for tougher rules on New Year and Bonfire Night fireworks
Regional bosses have raised the prospect of tougher rules for New Year and Bonfire Night fireworks displays.
Petitions on the issue have been submitted to Parliament on a regular basis over recent years, highlighting the plight of pets and armed forces veterans.
And it prompted a special inquiry, which Coun Kevin Dodds, chairman of the Tyne and Wear Trading Standards Joint Committee, has suggested the panel could also respond to in the coming months.
“There’s been a number of petitions submitted to the House of Commons on the subject of fireworks and the various responses have generally been that there is legislation which already exists.
“But they are also suggesting there are areas which are covered by some petitions that talk about people with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, or concerns that there should be more thought given to animal welfare.”
He added: “My feeling is what they should be doing is asking whether current legislation is sufficient to deal with the multiple issues now being highlighted.”
Fireworks for New Year celebrations will be on sale from December 26 – 31, but according to parliamentary authorities petitions have seen almost 300,000 signatures on petitions calling for a sales ban and other restrictions.
A report following a House of Commons investigation said: “We have identified clear loopholes in the current legal framework, which the Government should act swiftly to close in the interest of those who sell and enjoy fireworks and those who are concerned about their use.
“Above all, we believe the Government’s response to this Report will be an opportunity for it to begin to demonstrate that it’s listening too, and is willing to act to address legitimate concerns, while enabling people to enjoy fireworks responsibly.”
Fireworks thought to be worth about £15,000 were seized in raids after they were found to be sorted dangerously in the run up to Bonfire Night earlier this year.
And as stores gear up to begin stocking them again in preparation for New Year celebrations, they have been reminded of their responsibilities to ensure the safety of their staff and the public.
You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.