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Cheltenham man calls for ban on selling fireworks to the public

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 04, 2014

  • WARNING: Leonard Sykes feels fireworks should only be sold to proper displays, and not to the general public

Comments (3)

IRRESPONSIBLE and dangerous fooling about with fireworks has led a Cheltenham man to call for a ban on selling them.

Leonard Sykes lives in central Cheltenham and said he witnessed people setting off fireworks in his street at midnight.

And there were youngsters fooling around with pyrotechnics in the Matalan car park in Swindon Street.

Mr Sykes, 42, said: "There was a man holding on to a firework, aiming it at people.

"It could have blown his hand off, it was really dangerous.

"The fireworks that were set off near me also have showered my car with sparks and cinders which I need to clean off.

"But if they come down on my car still hot, then what would they do to somebody walking by?"

Mr Sykes, who works as a mechanical assembler in a factory added: "I don't want to be a killjoy, but I do think fireworks shouldn't be on sale to the general public.

"They should be sold to proper displays that people can go and see."

Mr Sykes took some photographs of massive banks of fireworks that needed to be launched from an open wheelie bin, a far cry from the rockets and Catherine wheels used for domestic garden fireworks parties.

Mr Sykes said: "I have written to MP Martin Horwood saying that sales of fireworks should be banned."

Mr Horwood, Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, said: "The behaviour that Mr Sykes describes in the car park sounds extremely dangerous.

"I would say anyone who sees something like it should report it to the police as it's incredibly dangerous.

"Mr Sykes wants to have a complete ban on fireworks sales, which I think would be an over-reaction.

"I'm quite sympathetic to more noise restrictions, but otherwise I think we should use the existing laws we have on dangerous behaviour.

"Otherwise it will spoil the public enjoying pretty harmless fireworks."

A police spokesman pointed out that the law on fireworks prohibits setting them off in the street or any other public place.

He added: "Fireworks can be very dangerous if misused and wherever such incidents take place we will investigate thoroughly to identify those responsible."

The law on fireworks is available to read by visiting the website gov.uk/fireworks-the-law

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3 comments

  • SnB2014  |  January 04 2014, 9:35PM

    Stop fireworks apart from 5th November only and limit this day to licensed displays. Fireworks should be banned from being sold anywhere like the story above, people are going to get injured. Also lets not forget about all the scared animals that hate the noise and are petrified!!!

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  • getting250  |  January 04 2014, 12:48PM

    It amazes me that to own a gun, by law you need a licence. But any fool with half a brain can buy and set off dangerous explosives without any formal training or requirement for a licence.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 04 2014, 10:19AM

    Martin Horwood's comments completely miss the point. Calling the Police is a waste of time, it takes seconds to light a firework, and the evidence has gone, so even if they are caught, all they have to say is 'prove it'. Much better to ban them all together and just have the big displays. But this has been discussed for years, and if Labour didn't kill them off, no-one will.

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