Fareham MP Suella Braverman has taken local concerns over the misuse of fireworks to government ministers this week, where she has called for a review into the laws surrounding personal use.
The intervention comes following a local campaign in which residents were invited to give their views on the increasing use and misuse of personal fireworks throughout Fareham. One recent poll of 2,300 residents, conducted by local Councillor Tom Davies, found that 65% of respondents preferred a ban or greater restrictions on personal fireworks.
Mrs Braverman and Councillor Davies believe that the misuse of fireworks away from organised events often exacerbate health problems of those suffering with anxiety, as well as being disruptive for elderly residents and those with pets.
Furthermore, data from Fareham Borough Council shows that several local retailers have failed license checks for the sale of fireworks.
Councillor Davies said:
“Following my survey, it’s clear that Fareham residents overwhelmingly back restrictions on the sale of fireworks and their use by the general public. I’ve had residents who have contacted me over the past couple of months complaining about them and sharing their experiences with me. One lady couldn’t go to bed because a neighbour wouldn’t stop letting off loud fireworks and she had work in the morning.
“Another family contacted me to say their petrified dog wouldn’t leave his basket to go on a walk, while someone else contacted me to say that children who had illegally obtained fireworks were firing them into his garden. These stories are far from unique.
“Fireworks are a menace to many people and cause a great deal of stress to pets and wildlife, and I think it’s right that the government now looks to rectify this situation.”
Almost 4,500 people in England attended A&E with injuries from fireworks last year – roughly double the number admitted in 2009-10. Last year, the RSPCA launched their own petition which has attracted more than 500,000 signatures, calling for a review into firework rules to protect animals from injury and distress.
In a letter to community ministers, Suella Braverman has described the disruption being caused by fireworks to local Fareham residents and has urged the Government to identify areas where improvements in safety regulation can be made.
Commenting, Suella Braverman said:
“Many residents in Fareham are expressing concerns about the misuse of fireworks away from organised events. Although nice to look at, they can be very disruptive to local communities when used discourteously or irresponsibly.
“That is why I have written to community ministers and am supporting calls for a review into the current regulations on personal firework use.”