Fireworks for Licensed Displays Only

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LATEST NEWS (update 21 NOV 2006)

Petition was presented at 10 Downing Street 1st November 2006 by Local MP Henry Bellingham and myself. Mr Bellingham will also present a representative petition to the House and call for a debate. This will be the first time our petition has been formally brought before the House. THEREFORE it is VITAL that as many people as possible write personally to their local MP telling them how Fireworks is affecting you and your family, friends and animals so that the debate is not wasted. You will also add support to the petition. Thank you to everyone who has helped and signed this latest petition. Thanks also to Mr Bellingham for his personal support in bringing this before the House.


details here Hansard

I am very disappointed in Mr Bellingham for his comments during the debate and I quote them here

“Let me give an example of why it would be hypocritical of me to demand an outright ban. On Friday, my seven-year old boy said that he would like to go to a firework display. Unfortunately, we could not rearrange our plans for Saturday so that we could take him to a large display in a village near where we live, and he was very upset. My wife and I decided that we would have our own private display in my mother’s garden. The garden is large and no houses around it would be likely to be in range of falling rockets.

I went along to Tesco in Gaywood, which is in my constituency, and I was impressed by its arrangements. It had a separate firework kiosk manned by a competent member of staff. After looking at me and deciding that I was over 18, she told me that the shop had a rule in place whereby anyone who looked under 21 would be questioned. The shop was thus being extra cautious about the 18-year-old rule. When I explained that I wanted to buy some fireworks, the member of staff gave me the menu. I was able to buy a box of fireworks for £25, although because there was a buy-one-get-one-free offer, I got about £50-worth of fireworks. My wife also bought some rockets from Sainsbury’s.

My 17-year-old nephew, Joshua Rowley, who was on his half term, was master of ceremonies at the display. We invited one or two local friends with children the same age as my seven-year-old, and our small family firework display brought huge pleasure to those young children.I would not have been able to hold such a display if there had been an outright ban on the retail sale of fireworks because I would have had to apply for a licence. There are many people in my position. We do not want to be killjoys, but we are nevertheless worried about what is going on. I do not want an outright ban,”

I think everyone will notice the 5 minute commercial for a major supermarket, clearly Mr Bellingham is not only against a ban but he also does not want to offend his party's commercial funding.

What you may miss is that he then took the fireworks he had bought, which as he says are banned for sale to under 18's, and put them in the hands of his 17 year old nephew!

Clearly Mr Bellingham sees a mounting pressure for a ban as evidenced by our two massive petitions and the fact that in the House itself 39 MP's have signed an Early Day Motion calling for an outright ban. The details are as follows and the original can be found at

Both Lindsay Hoyle MP and Philip Hollobone tried to point out during the debate that Mr Bellingham was not being entirely accurate when he said”

“There are many people in my position. We do not want to be killjoys, but we are nevertheless worried about what is going on”

both of them pointed to opinion polls conducted by the BBC and Local Newspapers showing that his “many” was in fact a very small minority

Lindsay Hoyle MP said

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a poll carried out by the BBC in the north-west of England showed that 92 per cent. of people believed that there should be a total ban on the sale of fireworks, except those for organised licensed events?”

Philip Hollobone MP said

“I rise to speak in favour of an outright ban on the retail sale of fireworks. I do so not only because I believe in a ban, but because my local newspaper, the Kettering Evening Telegraph, has called for such a ban. The Evening Telegraph should be applauded for its work in Northamptonshire on the issue. It conducted a survey of more than 800 local people, 88 per cent. of whom supported a ban on the retail sale of fireworks. Many of the national opinion polls testing political opinion conducted country-wide by MORI and other polling organisations involve about 1,000 respondents, so to get 800 respondents in the area covered by a local newspaper is truly impressive. The fact that such a large proportion are in favour of a ban sends a clear message to the Government that the mood has already turned.”

And yet Mr Bellingham has said

I do not want an outright ban, but I recognise, appreciate and respect the momentum that is building behind such a ban.... If the Government do not bring in tougher legislation along the lines that I have suggested, the momentum will become unstoppable and we will have an outright ban.”

So it is obvious he knows he is in the minority but he goes even further as later in the Lynn News, our local Newspaper, he states he is “fighting against a Ban”,

What this means is that although we have presented a total of over 200,000 signatures Mr Bellingham is voting the way he wants to and not the way his constituency wants.

While I am, and remain grateful, for his bringing this debate and presenting it to parliament I am deeply disappointed by his behaviour. In that he has chosen to put his own views and those of a small minority ahead of those of the people, the emergency services and our hospital Accident and Emergency departments. Every year they count the cost of the fact ordinary people do not get heard as often or as loud as the opinions of the financial backers of the political parties

It makes me wonder what happened to the Servant part of Public Servant which is what our Parliament is supposed to be: a servant of the people. Clearly it isn't it that at all. It is just a servant of their own interests and those of the rich people and business people who make political donations. Maybe we should remember this when the elections come round again, I think it is time we could vote for None of the Above until we got a candidate we chose not the Political Party, a candidate who represented us not the Party and their backers. It seems time and time again the people are ignored whilst our MP's do as the Party tells them not what is good for the voters.





Mr Lindsay Hoyle

Mr David Crausby

Mike Penning

Bob Russell

Bob Spink

Lynne Jones

* 39 MP's signed this EDM


Mr Marsha Singh

Mr Alan Meale

Keith Vaz


Mrs Iris Robinson

   That this House notes the continuing distress caused to residents, and in particular pets, by fireworks; recognises that while the sale of fireworks has been restricted through the Fireworks Act 2003 to New Year and a three week period around Bonfire Night the number of people using and abusing fireworks at this time and during other parts of the year is still far too high; expresses concern at the distress fireworks cause to pets, who often have to be sedated as a result of fireworks; and calls for a complete ban on the private sale of fireworks except for organised displays where a licence can be granted by local authorities.

Printable Petition Form


Last year we presented a petition of 92,835 signatures to 10 Downing Street calling for the total ban of sales to the public of fireworks. We asked that they be limited to licensed displays only. In that time much has happened but sadly none of it very good. As usual the Government has ignored the public and sided with industry.

The MP Bill Tynan's much vaunted bill received Royal Assent in a very watered down way. Totally ignoring garden fireworks, despite last years statistics showing that they caused most of the injuries, not to mention the nuisance, danger and suffering. This was clearly shown when 4 men in the York area were arrested for blowing up public telephone boxes, debris was thrown all over a 30 metre radius. Earlier night workers in Leeds were attacked with fireworks and one was injured and taken to hospital.

On the 18th of August 2003 near Eccles a heath fire was started by a firework(s) and on 26th March 2003 a disabled lady had a firework thrown at her whilst walking her dog. The dog had to be put to sleep. On the 12th of March 2003 in Norwich a disabled man had a firework put down the back of his wheelchair by muggers. He suffered burns and his motorised wheelchair was damaged. The list just keeps growing.

The Government's bill did nothing at all to stop this and neither have the recently enacted laws.

We must do something about these half hearted measures. We have already collected a further 101,000 signatures and have decided that this response justifies us continuing to collect signatures upto the end of January 2006.

The petition continues now calling to Amend the Fireworks Laws in order to

To help download a petition form and write to me about any accidents you have experienced with fireworks (press cuttings will also help) contact me at or by letter at 1, Methuen Avenue, Gaywood, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4BN

Write to your MP do it personally and if possible by hand, MP's tend to disregard type written material as they are often bombarded by lobbying mail from various pressure groups and most of it is Mailing List stuff. Handwritten letters tend to be more effective in getting through. If you are lucky enough to have an MP who does regular local surgeries get an appointment and talk to them personally. As all MP's are good at the fob off try to get a firm commitment to actually do something by a certain date but the most important thing is to tell them personally how fireworks are affecting you (their constituent) and your animals and property. Most MP's live on a different planet and seldom if ever meet real people on the street unless it is to glad hand them at election time.

Further reading

Thank You and Keep Going, We might just make it!

Letter from Teresa

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