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MP’s “fireworks” in Parliament win praise

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WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones has won praise for her part in a Parliamentary debate on the sale of fireworks.
The MP – who chairs the Petitions Select Committee – opened and closed the debate on the fireworks issue – which she said produced unanimity about wanting more controls on fireworks.
She highlighted existing regulations which she claimed were not being enforced because of a lack of police officers and a “hollowing out” of community policing and trading standards.
She said the number of people visiting A&E with firework injuries had doubled in less than 10 years and spoke of the pressure on emergency service resources, the anti-social behaviour (including attacks on the emergency services) and the effect on domestic and farm animals.
Ms Jones said:
“It is time to act. If the Government are not prepared simply to move to organised displays, there are other things they could do. They could raise the age for buying fireworks or restrict use, as well as sale, to certain times of the year. They could ensure that the police and local authorities are given the wherewithal to enforce the regulations
“I must confess that I am a reluctant convert to organised displays, but I do not believe that continuing things as they are is worth the NHS admissions, the attacks on emergency service personnel or even one child being seriously burned or blinded.”
At the end of the debate, Ms Jones accused the junior minister, Kelly Tolhurst of a lack lustre response which took little cognisance of the debate.
She said there had now been three e-petition debates on the issue but the Government had taken no account of public views.
“The Minister has talked about enforcement, but she will not commit more resources to it.
“These are serious issues about people being injured, emergency workers being attacked and people’s lives being made a misery. It is time that the Government started to take it seriously.”

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