Welcome for move on firework ban

LONG-suffering Ipswich residents have welcomed moves by ministers to stop year-round sales of fireworks.Fireworks will only be legally available in shops for three weeks up to Bonfire Night, and a few days afterwards.

LONG-suffering Ipswich residents have welcomed moves by ministers to stop year-round sales of fireworks.

Fireworks will only be legally available in shops for three weeks up to Bonfire Night, and a few days afterwards.

The news is a victory for the Evening Star's campaign as we reported on the almost daily torment of people in Ipswich subjected to bangers and private fireworks displays on more occasions than the traditional November 5 and New Year's Eve.

Under the new Government proposals, it will also become an offence to light a firework after 11pm, and a new noise restriction of 113 decibels – the equivalent of a shrill whistle – will be imposed.

The new regulations would outlaw air bombs, bangers and some noisy rockets, according to research by the National Campaign for Firework Safety.

The organisation tested 316 types of fireworks and director Noel Tobin said: "We found some rockets and bangers that could be heard over five miles away."

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Backbench MP Bill Tynan, who is promoting the Bill, said: "I am not trying to be a killjoy but there must be tighter controls."

The measures are aimed at cutting complaints, he said.

Peter Wakeham, director of the Noise Abatement Society, said: "We get dozens of complaints. It was just November 5 but now it's all year."

Ipswich Borough Council is drawing up a code of conduct that will inform residents how they can enjoy fireworks without annoying their neighbours.

Helen Conway from the RSPCA shop in Carr Street collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition to put an end to public sale of fireworks throughout the year.

After the Star's reporting of the problem, Thomas Richardson, of Conway Close, Ipswich, said that only fireworks which don't bang should be used.

He said: "The birds were flying when the bangs went off, and the birds were knocked right out of their senses. I advocate that they bring in non-explosive fireworks."

Roger Upson-Smith, of Halliwell Road, used to keep his cat indoors on November 5, but now he is always worried over festive periods.

He had suggested that fireworks should only be sold two days before November 5.

He said today: "It's certainly good news, and shows the government is moving at least in right direction. But it's one thing making it illegal, and it's another thing policing it."

But Roger Willett, 72, of Chelsea Close, Ipswich, said people complaining about fireworks were killjoys.

He said: "They can just switch off for a while. I don't think it's asking for too much."

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