HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc518-9

6 pm

Mr. Jim Cunningham (Coventry, South)

It is only a fortnight since the House agreed on a Friday morning to let through a Bill on firework misuse. Within about a fortnight, people in Coventry were able to collect about 5,000 signatures, which gives a snapshot of scale of the problem. Time is far too short to go into all the details; suffice it to say that many elderly people are experiencing a living nightmare in certain parts of Coventry because of firework abuse. The same applies to pet owners and a large number of families, particularly as the fireworks are sometimes going off at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning.

The petition states: To the House of Commons The Petition of the residents of Coventry Declares that firework misuse is a serious and growing cause of annoyance, distress, nuisance and danger to many people in Coventry; that residents and Councillors have made clear their belief that the existing legislation is inadequate and that an appropriate response is required at both local and national levels; that Category 3 fireworks should be available only to licensed display organisers and not to the general public and that Coventry Council believes that the current registration scheme to store and sell fireworks is inadequate and should be changed to a positive licensing scheme. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons bring forward legislation to enable Coventry City Council to prohibit the use of fireworks between 11 pm and 7 am, and to give it the power to deny or revoke licences to firework retailers in cases where the retailer has a criminal record relating to the sale or storage of fireworks or in other cases where a restriction on the licensing of fireworks retailers would be in the best interests of the safety and wellbeing of Coventry residents; and furthermore enact legislation to prohibit the sale of Category 3 fireworks to the general public. And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.