In recent weeks residents have contacted me to complain about people setting off fireworks far too early and also lighting them in a public place. This problem occurs each year and has a huge impact on the health of people (especially small children and elderly people) in the community and also their pets. It is important to know what the law is on this issue so that swift action can be taken against the law breakers. Local shops and firework suppliers also have a duty of care when selling fireworks to anyone.
An individual can’t buy or use ‘adult’ fireworks if they’re under the age of 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions. ‘Adult’ fireworks are also known as category 2 and 3 fireworks; they don’t include things like ‘sparklers’ and ‘party poppers’. The law states that you must not set off or throw fireworks (including ‘sparklers’) in the street or other public places. If you see someone doing this you should contact the Police immediately on 101.
You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. The exceptions are:
- On Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
- On New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am
An individual can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:
- 15th October to 10th November
- 26th to 31st December
- Three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year
At other times fireworks can only be purchased from licensed shops. Fines of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment for 3 months can apply for buying or using fireworks illegally. “On-the-spot fines of £80” may also be imposed. If you think a supplier or local shop is selling fireworks inappropriately or without the correct license, you can report them to Staffordshire County Council Public Protection/Trading Standards on 0300 111 8045.
YASC (Youth Against Service Cuts) is a new group fighting Staffordshire County Council plans to massively reduce the youth service in Staffordshire. The group includes young people, young councillors, community activists, teachers and parents. Devastating proposals by the County Council could see all 38 youth centres shut down and many youth workers made redundant. We demand this attack on young people in Staffordshire is halted now! Did you know Staffordshire County Council have agreed a budget in principle that will affect the youth service before the youth service consultation is finished? Is this fairness and transparency?
YASC is holding a gathering in Stafford Town Centre (Main Square) on Saturday 15th February, 2pm. This will be an opportunity for members of the public to sign petitions and young people to tell their stories. Everyone is invited to join us to save our youth services. We are also calling on all District/Town/Parish councils to support us in our fight against the County Council.
Our argument is as follows:
- Youth workers are important to young people because they can approach them on issues surrounding sexual health, alcohol/substance misuse and domestic violence.
- This decision will have a damaging impact on careers advice.
- Youth unemployment opportunities and the draconian approach to cutting as we come to summer, where will young people go?
- The move to close youth clubs/centres will increase antisocial behaviour and gang culture.
- The opportunity and accessibility of voluntary and private provision, especially in rural areas, and we will draw specific attention to: rise in teen pregnancies, prevalence of domestic violence within teen relationships and the increase of self-harm.
- Not all young people want to join Scout groups or Police Cadets.
Please sign the petition to save our youth centres: http://moderngov.staffordshire.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=93