HC Deb 09 December 1999 vol 340 c985
13. Mr. Frank Roy (Motherwell and Wishaw)

What recent discussion he has had with fireworks manufacturers in relation to the sale of fireworks in the period up to 31 December. [100538]

The Minister for Trade (Mr. Richard Caborn)

Following discussions with my Department, the British Pyrotechnists Association agreed that it will advise retailers that fireworks should be displayed for sale only from 27 December. My hon. Friend has taken that on board and done a sterling job in his constituency. Many of his retailers did not know about the agreement. He brought 37 of them together and they have agreed to come on board and abide by the voluntary code. The House should applaud the work that he has done in his constituency.

Mr. Roy

I thank my right hon. Friend for his welcome words. Those retailers took on board what I had said in my letter and showed their social responsibility to the people of Motherwell and Wishaw, who have suffered from the misuse of fireworks. None of them knew about an agreement between the British Pyrotechnists Association and the Department of Trade and Industry. Will my right hon. Friend ensure that retailers who have already bought their stock of fireworks know about any future agreements?

Mr. Caborn

In the light of my hon. Friend's question and a debate that my hon. Friend the Minister for Small Business and E-Commerce responded to yesterday, I have been discussing the issue with departmental officials this morning. I intend to write this afternoon to the local authorities' co-ordinating bodies for trading standards, asking them to inform the Department of any breaches that they have had to deal with recently. I shall pass that on to the British Pyrotechnists Association to ensure that it is able to enforce its voluntary code with the retailers. I hope that there will be action today.