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Council Decision could spell the end for Firework mayhem?

February 21, 2006 2:58 PM

Rochdale Council is set to make history after an almost unanimous decision that could spell the end for the over the counter sale of fireworks in the Borough. After a lively debate the Liberal Democrat Motion was voted through.

Council Officers will now have to "investigate the possibility of Rochdale Borough hosting a pilot scheme for a comprehensive ban on the over-the-counter sales of fireworks. Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Rochdale - Cllr. Alan Taylor who proposed the Motion said, "I am delighted that this policy has been adopted, this is the start of a long road. I would expect the Council to start working with the Government to come up with a solution that says "no more." No more lives being made intolerable by thugs hell-bent using fireworks anti-socially. No more horrible injuries caused by irresponsible use of these explosives. No more irresponsible shopkeepers whose lack of judgement, based on greed has ruined it for the ones that have worked with the Council and The Police. Rochdale has often led the way and I hope a successful pilot scheme will eventually lead to a national ban on the over the counter sale of fireworks."

Rochdale MP - Paul Rowen has spoke of his delight over the vote. He said, "This is the night when Rochdale started the fight back against the hooligans who have made our streets unsafe for huge parts of the year. The Council will now have to work with the Government to get the necessary legislation to make this a reality. Make no mistake we will work with the necessary authorities to investigate how we can get rid of the scourge of the anti-social use of fireworks. I look forward to Rochdale leading the way in the country on this issue. I pay tribute also to my colleague Jim Dobbin MP, in the neighbouring Heywood and Middleton Constituency, who has worked tirelessly for this cause. I know he will enthusiastically joins us to make this a reality. I will be contacting the minister responsible - Jim Fitzpatrick MP to request a meeting with Jim Dobbin MP and myself to see how we can take this proposal forward."

Councillors flagged up the possibility of the Black Market Sale of fireworks and the need to work with neighbouring authorities in the fight to make our streets safer. Paul Rowen MP said, "There is a lot to achieve but what we have achieved may just be the starting pistol for change. A pilot scheme for Rochdale will enable the police and other local agencies involved to in testify the battle against those who continually abuse fireworks. Whether they sell them or use them anti-socially. I appreciate that many people may be annoyed by this and I look forward to a dramatic increase in the number of responsible, public displays."