Bid to clamp down on sale of fireworks
ACOUNCILLOR is set to call for a clampdown on the sale and use of fireworks in the town after warning of the potentially ‘catastrophic consequences’ if they fall into the wrong hands.
Coun Rina Paolucci intends to table a motion at the next full town hall meeting seeking support for a ban on pop-up shops – and fireworks to be restricted to organised events.
The Wardle and West Littleborough politician said: “Every year we have issues with people buying bangers for the sole aim of throwing them.
“Year on year pop-up shops appear selling cheap, unlicensed and unregulated fireworks.”
“These are dangerous and put the public, who buy these innocently, at serious risk.
“Fireworks cause undue distress and upset to animals, the elderly and vulnerable people and continue to be used well before and after bonfire night.”
Coun Paolucci said she believes that anti-social behaviour involving fireworks has become ‘a real issue’.
“Not only are people misusing and throwing them, but also targeting the police and fire services,” she added.
“I know that quite a few fire crews have been attacked this year.
“I would prefer, for the safety of everybody concerned that people go to organised fire displays and that pop-up shops are not allowed to sell to the public.”
On the prospect of venues having to obtain a special licence before holding a display, Coun Paolucci said: “I would like to see that and I would like people to understand the reasons for it – that we are protecting them.”
How the enforcement of any new rules would work is unclear. But last month town hall chiefs voted through a motion which called for the restriction of the sale and use of Chinese lanterns – suggesting that the relevant powers would be within the council’s remit.
Coun Paolucci would also like the town hall bosses to call on the government to review the Fireworks Act, claiming it ‘just does not go far enough’. However, the Conservative accepts that her proposals will not be welcomed by everyone – and could meet with some resistance.
She said: “I would think that some people would support it and some would not, as they would say it was getting rid of the fun factor.
“But when fireworks are misused they are not fun. I would be happy for people to go to organised displays, because the consequences of misusing fireworks is catastrophic.”
Coun Paolucci added: “The council and the government are often criticised for not taking enough steps to protect the public and put safety as a priority – and that is actually what this is – it puts the safety of residents first.”
The next full meeting of Rochdale council will be on Wednesday, December 12, starting at 6pm.
●●Coun Rina Paolucci