Blog Archives

Fireworks and the Law – Kidsgrove

Kidsgrove_FireworksIn 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.

Unity Way: “Not another Off-license”

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Current proposals for a new Convenience store to be challeneged by local residents.

Residents of Unity Way in Talke are campaigning to oppose a new off license application submitted to Newcastle Borough Council. The convenience store proposed to take up the empty unit would be allowed to sell alcohol between 7.00am to 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 7.30am to 11.30pm Thursday to Saturday and 8.00am to 11.00pm on a Sunday.

It is believed that granting a license would provide a further source of alcohol within an area already so heavily populated with licensed premises that crime, disorder and public nuisance have already reached problem levels for the local police. Staffordshire Police have only recently had to dedicate more officers to the area due to a spike in crime.

The unit sits on an access only road and it is believed another convenience store in this area would be totally detrimental to the aims and objectives of the local community. There is currently an ongoing campaign to reduce traffic and the speed of traffic in this area. Staffordshire County Council Highways and the Police are well aware of this problem and continue to work with residents to find a solution. The amount of traffic generated by a convenience store could cause further problems for the road.

As the Butt Lane Councillor, I am concerned regarding the highways issues raised. There are also serious concerns that young people in the Kidsgrove and Butt Lane area are more easily getting access to alcohol. I feel that by making alcohol more readily available in this particular area, people will face a range of issues. Not to forget the fact this site is already an anti-social behaviour hotspot.

I have asked the committee deciding on this application to look at the Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions report presented to Newcastle Borough Council in October 2013. Year on year, the number of cases of Alcohol related admissions have doubled in some cases in the Borough. This includes Toxic effects, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol and alcoholic related liver disease. I believe the increase in access to alcohol through supermarkets and off-licenses has had a serious impact on communities. Whilst I do not want to be a kill joy, I do feel as a community we need to do more to raise awareness regarding the effects alcohol consumption can have on ones health.

We currently have a huge provision of local shops, co-operative stores and a new supermarket to be built on the old Linley Trading Estate. Do we really need anymore?

If you wish to have your say on the proposals, please follow the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/qhcd66a

Staffs Young People under attack

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YASC (Staffordshire Youth Against Cuts)

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