National Campaign for Firework Safety
Our aim is to promote the safe use of  fireworks

Read All About It - What's been said in the news in 2002
Part 3 April, May, June and July

The Black Country, 30 July 2002, MP fired up in call for new rules
Stourbridge MP Debra Shipley was out and about in town today (Tuesday) rallying support for a review of fireworks legislation.
During the lunch hour the MP and her campaign team, including former Mayor of Dudley Cllr John Walters, collected hundreds of shoppers' signatures calling for firework displays to be controlled by licensed technicians.
The petition also calls for restrictions on the times of year when fireworks can be bought, restrictions on the times of day they can be set off and for firework vendors to meet strict safety criteria.
It also calls for trading standards to be given power to revoke licences from vendors caught selling fireworks to underage kids.
Miss Shipley said: "Last year a huge number of constituents wrote to me on this issue. Lots of elderly people had been very frightened by fireworks hitting their windows and going off at unexpected times either side of Bonfire Night."
She said she would be taking the petition back to Westminster with her to raise the issue with ministers.
The MP added: "I think it will be a long process, but we have to start now as people have said it gets worse each year."

This is Bristol -29 July 2002, Fireworks all year round
I am writing with reference to a reader's comments about fireworks, which now seem to have a year-round season.
According to the DTI the regulations state that fireworks should only be sold three weeks before November 5 and a few days after.
Unfortunately, as with so many other things, this is a voluntary code - in other words, useless.
The firework industry and Trading Standards are supposed to reinforce this message yet we have "firework shops" and supermarkets selling fireworks all the time.
Public displays and setting fireworks off at a reasonable time are fine but I hear them on a regular basis after 11pm and into the early hours (which is an offence) and it is unacceptable.
We are all entitled to a good night's sleep.
Do these selfish and inconsiderate people ever think that some of us have to get up early for work, that the ill and elderly have enough to contend with and that animals are terrified?
I believe there is now a campaign to get stricter regulations as so many people throughout the country are fed up with this situation and I urge others of a like mind to write to their MP supporting this.
Name and address supplied.

This is Leeds 27 July 2002 Firework menace must be tackled
I read with interest a letter from Sandra Deighton-Smith regarding fireworks (YEP, July 16).
I own a registered PAT (Pets Are Therapy) dog, Emma. Her life is a misery from September to February due to irresponsible letting off of fireworks. Our work in local old folks homes is brought to a halt and I have difficulty even getting her out of the house.   Every Christmas and New Year is a nightmare. This year, to our disgust, our local supermarket put fireworks on sale over the Christmas period.
Through PAT I found COFFAW (Control of Fireworks for Animal Welfare), an organisation working hard to get legislation on the sale of fireworks. They desperately need support and I suggest Sandra and anyone else concerned about this growing menace contact Jo Steer, South Lawne, Wood Street, Milverton, Somerset, TA4 1QS.   Something needs to be done.   MRS F C, Illingworth, Halifax.

This is Solihull 26 July 2002 Fury over late night fireworks
A bleary-eyed campaigner hopes to put a rocket under inconsiderate revellers after he was woken up by a noisy fireworks display. John Davies, of Neville Road, Shirley, says he would like to ban the unregulated use of fireworks after he was disturbed at 3am on Monday as the skies over Hall Green and Sparkhill lit up. "These days it's never just November 5 when fireworks are used, there are any number of celebrations. "It's become more and more normal to have these things week in week out," said the 49-year-old. "It's time to make a stand and have certain rules so that it's not just a free-for-all. "I would like to see organised displays only and not have fireworks on sale to the public at all. "Someone somewhere needs to exert that control," he said. The IT project manager says he is amazed that in such a regulated world things as dangerous as fireworks are freely available. "You can go into Safeway and all you can buy is 12 paracetamol yet people can go somewhere else and buy explosives. It's a nonsense." He added that he's not just campaigning for himself but for pets too. "Our pet dog Tango is absolutely petrified of fireworks. When they're going off she hides under the bed," said Mr Davies. If you would like to have your say log onto the neighbourhood watch website on

This is Leicestershire 25 July 2002, Why in July
Why in July have we had fireworks going off?
I don't mind if fireworks are needed to celebrate some sort of festival, but what I do object to is the time they are set off, Thursday night 10.20pm for 15 minutes none stop loud bangs and then on another night 10.45pm more loud bangs and screams.
I have two young children who were very distressed by these fireworks as they were woken up by them.
Mrs N S. Leicester.

ICNorthWales 25 July 2002 On-the-spot fines for thuggery
On-the-spot fines are to be dished out to drunken yobs in a revolutionary crackdown to be tested in North Wales. Fixed penalty fines of up to £80, similar to speeding tickets, will be issued by police in a bid to clamp down on drunkenness and thuggery. That is the plan introduced by the Government and due to be enforced in the coming months.  Under the plan, thugs face an £80 on-the-spot fixed penalty fine for offences involving threatening language or behaviour or making hoax 999 calls. A lower £40 penalty will cover drunk and disorderly incidents as well as offences such as throwing fireworks. Police will be able to use the powers as early as August 8, although it is believed the North Wales force will introduce the scheme in the autumn.

icTees-side 23 July 2002 Taking on firework menace
Moves to control the menace of fireworks are being taken by a leading Teesside councillor. Dave McLuckie, lead councillor for community safety in Redcar and Cleveland, says fireworks such as rockets are now being aimed at vehicles, property, and even people. "There is the real possibility of serious injury or even a fatality," said Cllr McLuckie. He is putting forward a voluntary scheme under which licensed fireworks outlets in Redcar and Cleveland will be asked to pledge not to sell fireworks to under-18s and only to responsible adults who would be asked to sign a declaration the fireworks would only be used on or around November 5. Cllr McLuckie said fireworks were becoming a problem throughout the year. He said: "The noise nuisance is one issue but we have had incidents of powerful rockets being aimed and fired at property, buses and even people. There is the distinct possibility of serious injury or even fatalities." Cllr McLuckie hopes to launch his voluntary scheme among licensed firework outlets in the borough later this summer.

This is Local London 22 July Waiting for the firework smoke to clear
Sir,-I read, with dismay, Cllr Marlow's remarks (July 12th) following his disastrous decision to allow a huge firework display in Petersham Copse late at night.  He makes it clear that his administration places a much greater value on supporting and protecting private companies' commercial profit-making than safe-guarding the best interests of local residents. This is an interesting insight into the new council priorities.
His excuse that he did not have time to advise ward councillors is about as convincing as claiming a dog had eaten his homework.  It is just laughable to claim that a firework display of that magnitude was arranged from scratch at less than 24 hours notice.
I believe that this decision, taken without any consultation with anyone, adds to the growing list of examples of how this administration operates secretly behind closed doors without any regard for local residents.  Our residents deserve better treatment than this.-
Cllr Brian Miller, L B Richmond upon Thames, Breamwater Gardens, Ham.

This is Local London 17 July 2002 Tempers flare over late night fireworks on land near Ham House
Police and noise nuisance officers were called out at midnight last Saturday when explosions from a firework display near Ham House woke residents and disturbed local wildlife.  Ward councillor for Ham and Petersham, Sue Jones, with her colleagues Sir David Williams and Brian Miller, said that the firework display for a private party at Ham House on Saturday should not have been held so late in an area with resident wildlife and stables nearby.   She said that this could have been prevented by the new cabinet minister for Libraries, Sport, Art and Leisure, Cllr David Marlow.
She said: "Ham House gardens was ill chosen enough but Petersham Copse is totally unsuitable for such a performance to take place. The elderly, young children, wild animals resident in the copse, whose natural hunting time is the night, the domestic animals, horses, dogs and cats living adjacent to the copse, we put through intolerable stress because of the refusal of the new cabinet minister to take decisive action.
"Fireworks which commence at 11.45pm and continue for at least 25 minutes create distress and disturbance in vulnerable groups, as well as using up the precious resources of our Noise Nuisance Officers called out by local residents, the police called to the scene again by our local residents, and our open wildlife areas left littered with rubbish, is unacceptable.
Becky Edwards, the stable manager at Ham Polo Stables on the Petersham Road where they have 160 horses, said the displays were usually manageable but caused more disruption when they started so late.
She said they had been warned about the display and stayed with the horses.
But some of them had been concerned by the bangs and didn't calm down until half an hour after the display finished.
Cllr Marlow said that he had made the decision to allow the display on land adjacent to Ham House after the House' arrangements were found to fall short of health and safety regulations. He said the display, had it been held as originally planned, would have been too close to the audience.
Cllr Marlow pointed out that as cabinet member for art libraries and sport, he wanted to help Ham House which is a major attraction in the borough, to hold their scheduled event.
He said as the nature of firework displays had now changed, with them becoming bigger and louder, the council's policy on them would have to be reviewed.
He said: "Because Ham House's arrangements didn't comply with health and safety regulations as a greater distance was needed between the viewing guests and the display. To overcome this, I agreed to their use if land adjacent to Ham House for the display.
"I took the decision to allow the event to go ahead within a day of the actual event so I did not have time to consult with the ward councillors.
"I appreciate that the fireworks caused some disturbance to residents and I am sorry about that. The issue of firework displays needs to be considered and reviewed as they are now a lot bigger and louder, it has really developed into a firework industry as the scale of events has got larger.
"For reasons which are being looked in to the given time scale wasn't adhered to."
A spokesman for Richmond upon Thames Council said all the nearby residents had been informed of the display and invited to come and watch it. .
She said: "The council is regretful that there was any disturbance to residents on Saturday night following the granting of permission of fireworks, associated with a private party at Ham House. The organisers were asked if they could let them off earlier but this was not possible. It was agreed therefore that they could be let off at 11.15pm and were to last no longer than six minutes.
All residents in the area were informed and invited to come down and watch.   The fireworks were let off later than originally agreed because, in spite of careful stewarding, it was suspected that a member of the public was present in the launch. Safety is paramount so it was therefore essential that the organisers ensured that the area was safe before they could light the fireworks.
"It was agreed that the fireworks could be let off on council land rather than in the grounds of Ham House for health and safety reasons. The council's ecology officer does not consider that there was any danger to the wildlife in this area.
"We will be undertaking a review of the events policy in the near future which will specifically address disruption to residents."
Anne Partington-Omar property manager at Ham House said that she had animals and children and understood the disturbance caused by fireworks but that after the council had granted the organisers permission, negotiations were out of her hands.
She said: "Right from the start I warned the client and the organisers that I consider the area to be environmentally sensitive but they persisted saying they would approach the council for permission which they did and permission was given.
"Then the negotiations were really between them. I do regret any disturbance caused to the area and I am fully aware of how important the neighbourhood is.
"I think that people also are not used to them that close. We usually have them on the riverbank where there are no neighbouring houses on that side they are not usually that late.
"The fireworks did, however, finish before midnight and their duration was six minutes, I know because that is what the client paid for."

This is Leeds 16 July 2002 The Firework Menace must be stopped
Once again I have been woken late at night and nearly scared to death by extremely loud bangs, supposedly caused by fireworks but sounding more like cannon fire.
Since the Government has decided that fireworks can now be sold all year round, not a week goes by without unexpected explosions going off in the Kirkstall Valley. Sometimes it's nightly, over bonfire night and New Year I counted about five nights between September and January when there were no explosions.
It startles me so I dread to think how old folk and people with dogs cope. Perhaps it is worse where I live than anywhere else, perhaps not, but our valley is like a natural amphitheatre so the effect is horrendous.
Complaints to the police are brushed aside, they say it is the council's problem, the council say it is the Government's.
Our MP is trying to collect evidence to do something about it, asking the police how many complaints there have been, but the police won't log a complaint unless you really push them.
The worst problem is the fact that the police appear disinterested in stopping crime. I have witnessed, in the Kirkstall Abbey Museum car park, individuals selling fireworks from the back of a car. I suspect this is going on in many areas of Leeds near parks and open spaces and although the park rangers are keeping watch, they can't monitor the situation throughout the night.
Is anyone else bothered by this constant barrage? Is it a Government plot to accustom us to artillery fire or to give us first hand experience of war zones? That is what it feels like sometimes.
The thought has also struck me that although the council are encouraging the reduction of pollution by spending vast amounts of money on cycle paths, as they should, they regularly inflict massive amounts of pollution on us by holding frequent firework displays.  S DS, Leeds 5.

The Guardian News 13 July 2002 Police praise IRA as violence is averted
Orange marches pass off without serious trouble
Belfast's most senior policeman, assistant chief constable Alan McQuillan, last night praised leading members of the IRA for quelling any threat of serious republican violence during one of the most contentious loyalist parades of the year.
But in north Belfast, the controversial parade in Ardoyne, where a vicious street battle raged for seven hours last year, passed off fairly peacefully.
Both sides threw a few bottles and fireworks at each other when the marchers went by at around 8pm.

ICNewcastle 13 July 2002 Parades less violent
A top Northern Ireland police officer has said the Twelfth of July Orange Order parades passed off peacefully compared to other years despite around 20 police officers being injured. The Police Service of Northern Ireland said officers were hit by a barrage of up to 100 petrol bombs, fireworks and bricks thrown by protesters attacking a parade in a Nationalist Springfield Road area of west Belfast. Alan McQuillan, the Assistant Chief Commissioner for Greater Belfast, expressed disappointment that the Springfield Road march was marred by violence, but said in comparison to other years it had been peaceful.

This is Nottingham 11 July 2002, FIREWORK STORES GET OK
Three firework storage buildings have got the go-ahead from Notts County Council.
The stores, to be built at the fireworks factory of Boldsound Ltd, at Langar Airfield, near Cropwell Bishop, will be capable of storing up to ten tons of fireworks each.
The Health and Safety Executive and Rushcliffe Borough Council had already approved their construction, and the county council received no formal objections to the new buildings during the consultation period.
The brick-walled buildings with concrete roofs and floors, will be surrounded by an earth mound. They will be rented by another firm, Galaxy Fireworks, and used to store imported shop fireworks.
The county's public protection and general purposes committee said the site's nearest neighbours - more than a mile away - would not be adversely affected by the stores.

This is Wiltshire 11 July 2002 College's late-night fireworks blasted
Families in Marlborough were left fuming on Saturday when a late night firework display at the College shook the town with a series of explosions lasting for nearly half an hour.  The display was organised as part of an end of term ball for the public school leavers and took place on the College playing fields behind Hyde Lane.  It started at about 10.45pm with an enormous aerial explosion which rattled windows on the far side of the town in Elcot Lane and on the St Margaret's Mead estate.
The display was so huge that families at Pewsey said they could see the sky lighting up over Marlborough.
It was the noise of the fireworks which upset people and also the lateness of the display, which began about an hour after darkness fell.
Several complaints were made to police who said it was a health and safety matter and advised callers to contact Kennet District Council's environmental health officers.   Town councillor Marian Hannaford, who lives in Cardigan Road, said: "It was awful. At least it was not after midnight like on a previous occasion which brought a lot of complaints."   One Hyde Lane resident said: "It was like being in the middle of a war zone. I have never heard such loud fireworks."   Retired children's hospital nurse Muriel Gough, of St John's Close, said: "I was in bed when it started and I was furious.  "If they are going to put on displays with loud bangs like this they should have to put a notice in the local paper the week before so that people can be prepared and make sure their pets are in. The noise was terrible, disgusting."
College master Edward Gould confirmed that the display was part of the school leavers' celebrations and apologised if families were upset by the noise.  He said: "The noise level was higher than anticipated. There was no intention to cause local residents distress."

This is Hampshire 10 July 2002 Fireworks spark night-time furore
Weary residents in a Southampton street say they are being plagued by firework pranksters in the early hours.  Locals in Harborough Road, Polygon, were woken at about 2.45am last Friday by fireworks, which one resident described as like a "car being blown up".  Homeowners streamed on to the street outside to find the source of the noise and found a woman preparing to let off two large firework canisters.
One resident phoned the police but by the time they arrived the woman had gone to a house nearby.
Residents also phoned the police on Saturday after more fireworks were set off from outside two other houses between 9.30pm-11pm. Lorraine Barter, chairman of the Polygon Residents' Action Group, said: "The firework lighter on Friday was an American woman who said she had a permit from Shirley police allowing her to use them.  "At about the same time as this incident, Archers Road and Fitzhugh residents were kept awake by fireworks in Fitzhugh Place. With more fireworks on the Saturday, not many people living around here got much sleep.  "Is this behaviour acceptable in a residential area, where young children, older people and animals are terrified by this nuisance?  "The unauthorised setting off of fireworks in public places is a crime under the Crime and Disorder Act because of the alarm and distressed caused. The standard excuse that `students have just moved in' is unacceptable."
A Hampshire police spokesman said: "We are not aware of a particular problem with anti-social firework displays in Harborough Road. The claim that we granted a resident a permit to hold a street firework display is also inaccurate."  The anger over the firework `displays' is the latest in a long list of concerns highlighted by Polygon and Fitzhugh residents - including rising levels of local crime and vandalism.
Many are also angry at what they see as city council bosses' over-eagerness to cash in by approving a huge number of new bars, restaurants and other night spots in the Polygon and surrounding area.

This is Local London 10 July 2002: Youth club and trouble-makers
In response to Ms Ashworth's letter (Guardian, June 27), I would like to relay my own experiences.
I would firstly say that I am the mother of two young children who would one day benefit from a youth club.  Last November while I was watching EastEnders and giving my two-year-old son his bedtime milk there was a loud bang from our hallway which made me fear that someone had thrown a firework through our letterbox.  I found my front door wide open, it having been kicked with such power that the Yale lock had come away from the front door.  If my sons had been in the hallway they could have been badly injured or worse by the metal lock flying through the air or the door itself.  I ran outside and running down the road was a group of about 10 boys and girls aged about 13.  Even though it was early for the youth club to turn out my husband went there to report the matter while I called the police.  He found the club empty apart from the youth workers, who informed my husband that they had sent the children home because of their bad behaviour.     MS C. E. C  Wanstead.

This Is Lancashire 29 June 2002 Youths banned from town centre
Three teenage tearaways responsible for more than 60 incidents between them have been banned from Bacup town centre in the evening and overnight.  Magistrates granted Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) on Gary Herbert, 15, of Clough Road, Bacup, Patrick (Paddy) Mulcahy, 17, of Tong Lane, Whitworth, and Liam Duckworth, 16, of Rossendale Crescent, Bacup, and all are now subject to a series of restrictions.   During a hearing at Burnley Magistrates Court, the police solicitor Sue McLane said police had been notified of more than 60 incidents involving one or more of the lads dating back to December 1999.
The court heard they ranged from threatening to set fire to a car and a house to throwing a firework at a woman.

A fireworks display that went badly wrong resulting in one death and several injuries has prompted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to issue additional guidance to those organising firework displays.
The accident, which happened in Australia last year, was caused by the explosion of three roman candles which were in steel tubes. The explosion shattered the tubes sending high-speed steel fragments into the crowd.
Allen Webb, an inspector in the HSE's Explosives Inspectorate, said: "It should always be assumed that fireworks can misfire, and, in the worst case, explode. The problem with support tubes, as demonstrated by this tragic incident, is that they can confine the firework and, therefore, increase the severity of a misfire."
If support tubes must be used:-
- Do not use metal tubes. Consider using only plastic tubes which, should the firework explode unexpectedly, will not burst, shedding
high-energy fragments. Choose tubing which is made of non-brittle plastics and designed to withstand internal pressure, for example pipe made for water or gas supplies from high density polyethylene;
- Do use a tube with a diameter which will provide the required support to the firework without holding it too snugly. A snug tube may damage the firework when it is inserted and also increase the severity of a misfire;
- Where any support tube is attached to a stake or frame, attach it on the side away from spectators. In this way, should an explosion occur, the effects will tend to be projected away from spectators;
- Always remember to position the fireworks as far as possible from spectators and at least at the manufacturer's recommended minimum distance.
"In any event, arrangements for fastening, supporting and locating the fireworks should be justified in your risk assessment," said Mr Webb.  This and additional information has been included in the third edition of Giving your own firework display, issued in April 2002,  and as an addendum sheet for those who use Working together on firework displays.

This is Gloucestershire, 14 June 2002,  'SEX AND FIREWORKS IN VILLAGE CHURCHYARD' ROW
CHURCH officials have been accused of allowing the most unholy behaviour after locals say they were woken by rowdy members of the congregation holding a late-night fireworks display in the churchyard.
One Mitcheldean resident rang the police and another has called for the resignation of churchwarden Pat Nixon, who organised the 17th Century-style banquet at the village's St Michael and All Angels' Church.
They say scores of people in the village awoke when 50 people burst out of the church at 11pm on Friday, June 7 shouting, smoking cigarettes and sitting on gravestones - and they even allege that youngsters had sex in the churchyard.
And villagers say a noisy fireworks display followed, with rockets set off from between gravestones.
But parochial church council member Pat Nixon, also a member of Mitcheldean Parish Council, furiously dismissed allegations that anything untoward happened and said that everyone had a "whale of a time".
And she was backed by the wife of church rector Father Robert Sturman, who said the complaints were "sour grapes" and hailed the evening as a huge success.
Mrs Nixon said the church would use the cash raised from that event - and a fete in the rectory gardens the following day - to help fund much-needed repairs to its spire. Overall £1,000 was raised.
But one furious Mitcheldean resident, who refused to be named, said: "This is the talk of the village.
"At 11pm at night they were coming out of the church shouting and smoking their fags, as well as sitting on gravestones. I even heard it said that some of them were having sex in the graveyard.
"Then they started setting off fireworks from between the graves. Can you believe it? All this was organised by a member of the parish council, Pat Nixon. She should resign. I think it's disgusting." But Mrs Nixon denied any sinful acts had taken place in the churchyard.
"Everyone had a whale of a time," she said. "We ate a six-course meal, and we sang and danced. There were fireworks, but I'm not making any excuses for that.
"We were celebrating the Golden Jubilee. Nothing the slightest bit naughty went on in the graveyard, and that's an utterly ridiculous suggestion because there were kids around.
"It's difficult not to stand on the graves sometimes, but everyone tried to stick to the paths I can assure you.
"By no means was there a public outrage about it. There were very few complaints. Put it this way, people knew we were celebrating."
Rector's wife Marilyn Sturman said: "It's probably sour grapes. There were fireworks afterwards, which is not against the law.
"Somebody phoned the police but there was no trouble at all. I think it's sad anyone would want to complain, because the event was such a success."
Police spokeswoman Marie Wotton said: "We received a call from a member of the public just before midnight reporting fireworks going off quite late at night in what they said was antisocial behaviour.
"A unit was allocated the incident but by 12.30am the fireworks had finished."

This is Nottingham, June 14 2002,  Why fireworks?
Please, to all Evening Post readers, can you remember my letter to these pages, the heading read something like "Bang, Bang Bang, Bang (Fireworks)". November 5 is early this year. Surely I heard fireworks going on June 3 (why?) and what was the reason for this?
And my other big question is, why on earth do all the city councillors, and Rt Hon Tony Blair, get into the act when all these letters start to pour into our Evening Post.
There has been no warning, whatsoever, that fireworks were to be let off.
G. A. Wollaton Vale

Campaigners are optimistic that tighter firework regulations will be introduced in Scotland ahead of the rest of the UK.  It follows a ministerial acknowledgement that something needs to be done to stop the nuisance and damage caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks throughout the year.
The control of fireworks is a reserved matter primarily covered by the 1875 Explosives Act. Any change in legislation will have to come from Westminster, but MSPs are convinced that legislation exists to allow Scotland to take matters in hand.
There is a growing national campaign for stricter controls. Last year, 89 people were injured by fireworks in Scotland. Vets reported that around 8,000 animals needed treatment for injuries caused by fireworks in 2001. Seven out of 10 community councils have received complaints of "fear and anxiety" from the public.
Yesterday, Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald said a review of legislation was being carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry.  The local authority group, COSLA, has set up a fireworks task group which is expected to report back in October.  Mr Macdonald conceded that more needed to be done to ensure the authorities enforce the law. He agreed that it might be possible to use the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to tighten up the regulation for licensing vendors.  "Section 44 of the act does provide ministers with the powers to introduce additional licensing activities by means of regulations," he said. "We would have to look very carefully at any proposals to use those powers in this regard, but we will take a decision on that."
Mr Macdonald made his statements during a members' debate brought by North-east MSP Shona Robison, who is spearheading the Holyrood campaign for action.
There was cross-party support in the debate for the need to tougher action.
Mrs Robison told the chamber that fireworks were more powerful than ever and being used as weapons.
John McAllion, Labour MSP for Dundee East, said a survey in Dundee showed that 84% were in favour of banning fireworks except to organised displays, 12% in favour of fully licensing shops and just 1% in favour doing nothing. "These powerful weapons are becoming instruments of street terror for many of the most vulnerable people in our communities. I want action, and the people of Scotland want action."

This is Somerset 13 June 2002, MORE THAN 1,000 PEOPLE SIGN KIPPER'S PETITION
Kipper the cat is fed up with summertime fireworks in Weston, and his owner Jeremy Norton has organised a petition on his behalf.
Mr Norton wants strict controls on fireworks to protect animals like his seven-year-old ginger tom and has created a petition in Kipper's name, which has been signed by more than 1,000 people.
They now plan to meet Weston's Liberal Democrat MP Brian Cotter in the hope that he will add his name to the list.
Mr Norton, aged 63, of Nithsdale Road, launched the campaign in the hope of banning fireworks except on specific dates. Ideally, he says he would like them to be allowed only between 6pm and 8pm on November 5 and 7.15pm-12.15am on New Year's Eve.
Mr Norton, who works as a greeter at Sanders Garden World in Brent Knoll, said fireworks set off at other times cause animals unnecessary suffering.
He said: "Animals, old people and children can be terrified by fireworks, which go on all through the night all through the area." He collected the signatures by asking people in his neighbourhood as well as approaching customers at work.
Mr Cotter says he has been contacted by a number of constituents who share Mr Norton's concerns about the increasing use of fireworks.
He said: "I plan to take the petition to Parliament and I will be contacting other MPs to discuss the issue and secure their support.
"I would like to thank Mr Norton for working so hard to organise this important campaign." Mr Norton is awaiting the introduction of silent fireworks, which are being developed by Devon firm Firework Company.
The silent fireworks are as bright as the loud variety, but do not have the loud explosive charge.

A north-east MSP is spearheading a campaign to give local authorities greater control over the sale of fireworks.
SNP shadow deputy health and community care minister Shona Robison and the SSPCA want a licensing scheme that tightens up current regulations.
They want to see sellers - not just premises - licensed, and a limit on the time of year when fireworks are available. Mrs Robison launched the campaign in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens yesterday in advance of a members' debate she has secured this evening on the subject in the Scottish Parliament.
A survey by the SSPCA found that almost 98% of people support tighter restrictions on the availability of fireworks.  In this evening's debate, she will voice concern at how the irresponsible use of fireworks is causing increased problems for people and animals, and that the voluntary code of practice on their sale is often disregarded.  Mrs Robison will call on the Scottish Executive to do "everything in its powers" to tighten up regulations regarding the sale of fireworks, particularly reviewing the powers available to local councils regarding licensing vendors. "Its not only animals that are frightened by fireworks, we must take into account the effects on vulnerable people too and there has been a marked increase in the problems caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks in Scotland," she said.  Mrs Robison said it was time for Scotland to take a lead. Westminster had failed to take action, and two private members bills, currently due for their second reading, have little chance of going through. "We need a licensing scheme that gives local authorities greater powers to license both the premises where fireworks are sold from, and the vendor," she said.

The SSPCA's parliamentary officer, Libby Anderson, said firework problems affect all animals, not just cats and dogs.  She said: "Pet owners can sedate their animal for one to two days at a time but not for months on end. Last year, over 8,000 animals were treated by vets for firework related injuries. "For example, vets have also told us of a pet rabbit that aborted her young; a complete aviary of birds dropping dead from shock; a kitten dying from fright and a dog fleeing by jumping into the sea at Largs. The dog's body was washed up three days later.
"Fireworks are supposed to be fun but there is no reason for any animal to suffer or die because they are misused."

A call to restrict the use of fireworks is to be taken to the House of Commons.
Weston-super-Mare's Liberal Democrat MP, Brian Cotter, plans to raise the matter with his Parliamentary colleagues.
Last Friday, Mr Cotter was presented with a 1,000-name petition demanding tighter limits on firework displays.
It was collected by Jeremy Norton, of Nithsdale Road, Weston, and his seven-year old ginger tom cat, Kipper.
Mr Norton, aged 63, is campaigning for fireworks to be allowed only between 6pm and 8pm on November 5 and from 11.45pm to 12.15pm on New Year's night.
He claims unrestricted use of fireworks causes both animals and humans unnecessary distress and disturbance.
Mr Cotter said: "I have been contacted by a number of constituents who share Mr Norton's concerns about the increasing use of fireworks."

This is Local London, 11 June 2002, Firework campaign seeks public support
A CAMPAIGN to regulate fireworks has the enthusiastic backing of Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard.
He is planning to present a petition from local people to Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In partnership with other MPs, Mr Gerrard has been gathering support for a Private Member's Bill for the greater control of the use of fireworks.
The campaign comes in response to a growing number of complaints from borough residents to fireworks being let off at anti-social hours and by children under 16.
Mr Gerrard said: "Fireworks are a fun event when they are used properly by the right people. I believe too many fireworks are let off recklessly at any time of the day or night throughout the year.
"I have been contacted by many people who feel this is causing enormous distress to themselves and their pets."
The proposed four-key reforms to existing legislation are to:
Restrict the times of year fireworks can be bought
Restrict the times of day fireworks can be set off
Require all public firework displays to be controlled by licensed pyro-technicians
License all vendors of fireworks to meet strict safety criteria and to give Trading Standards the power to revoke the licence of any vendor caught selling fireworks to under-age children.
Mr Gerrard and the other MPs involved believe that these proposals will make fireworks safer and prevent many needless accidents every year.
The petition has been sent to residents' associations and veterinary clinics in Walthamstow to collect signatures.
Anybody who wishes to add their name to the petition, which will be presented to Tony Blair in the autumn, should call Neil Gerrard's office on 7219 4899.

This is North Scotland -11 June 2002, FIREWORK CAUSED POST-BOX BLAZE
The fire brigade was called out to deal with a blaze in a post-box caused by a lit firework, Elgin Sheriff Court heard yesterday. The prompt action of the fire crew saved the contents of the public mailbox, although one envelope was scorched. Yesterday Iain Grant, 17, had sentence deferred for six months for good behaviour after he admitted culpably and recklessly placing the firework in the box in Elgin's Newmill Road on October 22 last year. Grant, of 30 Balnacoul Road, Mosstodloch, was told by Sheriff Ian Cameron: "This was stupid but fortunately there was no significant damage caused."

This is Gloucestershire, 8 June 2002,  ROCKET RACKET MADE ME CRY
Fireworks were like a war zone, says pet lover
Tearful Sue Newman is furious that fireworks scared her animals and wrecked her son's new jeep.
Her horses, donkey and dogs were petrified by the explosions and paintwork on her son's jeep was corroded by firework dust, she said.
Debris from 220 pyrotechnics blew into her garden. She collected a boxful to present to police and Cheltenham Borough Council as evidence.
Mrs Newman, 54, an organic farmer, said: "It was like living in a war zone. I took the full brunt of it.
"The noise was absolutely horrific. My dogs were so scared they were howling.
"I had begged them not to have an event with fireworks because of the upset and distress it can cause."
She said her neighbours were unsympathetic when she complained.
"I was told I was a bitter and twisted old woman. I said 'what about my horses, what about my dogs?'. They turned around and said, sarcastically, 'poor horses, poor dogs'."
Mrs Newman has now cleared up. She said: "It was a mess. My son's jeep was smothered with white and orange powder.
"It has affected the paint work. It was in absolute showroom condition before."
Mrs Newman said she was not against the jubilee celebrations, but wanted neighbours to be more considerate.
A police spokeswoman said its powers were limited concerning fireworks.
David Hall, chairman of Up Hatherley parish council, said: "I have only heard one side of the story. Mrs Newman rang me today and I really wouldn't like to say anymore about it because I have not heard both sides.
"We will certainly be keen to learn more about it.
"If a resident is concerned that they think they have been harassed then we really need to ask some questions."

This is York 8 June 2002 Groom fined after stag night prank
A Bridegroom who exploded a firework in a crowded station takeaway on his stag night was fined £550.
Simon Patrick John Curtin, 31, sent customers fleeing in panic from the Whistlestop sandwich shop as he and 24 revellers passed through York Railway Station after several hours pub-crawling in the city centre, York magistrates heard.  Martin Butterworth, prosecuting, said that bangs and cracks echoed across the station's main concourse and smoke poured from the shop at 5.30pm last Saturday.
Police identified Curtin on CCTV and leapt on to the train about to carry the stag party back to West Yorkshire. But they were too late to stop the train leaving and en route, the revellers annoyed families and other passengers by their loud foul-mouthed singing. Curtin's journey ended in a police cell in Leeds. Another member of the group also exploded a firework.  Curtin, of Shay Lane, Walton, near Wakefield, pleaded guilty to setting off a firework in a public place and disorderly behaviour.  Magistrates also ordered him to pay £55 costs.
For Curtin, Julian Tanikal said: "Being the stag on the stag party, he consumed a large amount of alcohol and probably more than everyone else on the party."
Earlier in the day, one of the revellers had startled him by exploding a firework behind him and when they reached the station, he decided to get his revenge.  The drink inside him affected his judgement and he behaved out of character. Although he had been in trouble in the past, he had put that behind him and was now living a responsible life with his fiancée and daughter.     His wedding was set for three weeks' time.

This is Worcester 6 June 2002 Battle to save eye of firework victim
A Worcester schoolboy seriously injured in an horrific firework accident is set for surgery to try to save the sight in one eye.  Tom Munn was badly hurt when a firework exploded in his face at a cricket pitch in Battenhall last October.  He faces an operation to try and open his injured left eye, which has sealed over.
"They eyelid has sealed up, so he's going to Birmingham Eye Hospital in the next fortnight," said his dad Graham.  "At first he could open it a bit, but he can't at all now so they want to line it with a membrane and hopefully that'll help. "They can't do anything more until the lid is open because it's becoming a problem in its own right. "The crucial thing is to open the lid because then they'll be able to check his eye pressure and decide if we can progress at all.  "We still don't know if he will ever get his sight back in that eye."
The Nunnery Wood High School pupil underwent a ground-breaking operation last November to save his left eye. The pioneering surgery was the first of its kind and was performed by Prof Harminder Dua at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre.
The accident happened when the youngster, from Cherry Street, Cherry Orchard, was with his 20-year-old brother and a friend on the cricket pitch, off Evendine Road.  They had been following instructions while lighting fireworks, but one failed to ignite. When they went back to fix it, the firework exploded in their faces, injuring all three.

BBC News 4 June 2002 Firework sets light to butterfly haven
One of Warwickshire's main tourist attractions could lose thousands of pounds worth of business after a stray firework sparked a fire.  Part of a glass butterfly nursery at the Stratford Butterfly Farm, which is used to breed rare and exotic butterflies, was destroyed in the fire which broke out on Monday night.
Fire crews were called to the farm shortly after 2300 BST.   A rocket from a Jubilee firework display is believed to have landed in an empty plastic flowerpot next to the greenhouse, setting the building alight.

This is York 3 June 2002 Firework gang in station rumpus
A Stag party brought panic to York station, setting off fireworks in a packed pub and on a crowded train carriage.  Coopers, the station bar, and the Whistlestop sandwich shop had to be evacuated after "Jumping Jack" fireworks were hurled at terrified commuters and drinkers.  British Transport Police officers and passengers then watched in disbelief as another firework was thrown into a crowded Virgin train carriage.
Police officers had boarded the train at York and were chasing the group from station to station before the ordeal for passengers finally ended when the group left the train in Leeds.
At York Station, firework smoke set off alarms in Coopers and forced staff to evacuate the bar.
The group, believed to be about 25 strong and from Leeds, entered the station at about 5.45pm.
After throwing the fireworks in the station, they boarded a 6.06pm Virgin train travelling to Bristol Temple Meads. A station source told the Evening Press that the train was held up on the platform so police officers could get on board. He said: "It was packed in the bar. At Whistlestop, the firework was thrown in from outside. It could have blinded someone. "In the pub, all the fire alarm systems went off and it had to be evacuated.  "The smoke was just too bad. It was shut for about 15 minutes.
"Whistletop was also evacuated as well. The train was held up so the police could get on board. The decision was taken because of the amount of trouble in the station.  "The fireworks caused very little damage. They burned themselves out. But the smoke was everywhere."
PC Kevin Andrews, of British Transport Police, was on board the carriage when the third firework was hurled.  He said the group's behaviour was "outrageous."  "The firework was thrown into a train carriage. It was absolutely packed," he said.  "They were garden display fireworks and they were shooting off all over the place. "We were talking to a girl aged about 11 when it happened. She started crying.
"This was not a group of young lads. They were all family men and aged between 35 and 40. Their behaviour was outrageous."  No one from Coopers or Whistlestop was available to comment about the incident.

ICScotland 2 June 2002 Missiles thrown in latest Belfast riots
Security forces came under attack from groups of youths during renewed rioting in east Belfast. Mobs hurled missiles at police and soldiers during the disturbances at Kenilworth Place. Bricks, bottles, petrol bombs and fireworks were all thrown at security lines during the trouble.

This is Bradford 31 May 2002 Firework injuries on the rise across city
Firework injuries soared in Bradford last year, prompting campaigners to urge residents to take care at Jubilee displays.  Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents covering a four-week period around Bonfire Night 2001 showed nationwide accidents were 40 per cent up on the year 2000 and the worst statistics since 1995.  Bradford's rise was similar, and in the area covered by Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust there were 26 injuries - an increase from the previous year's figure of 17 casualties.
Airedale NHS Trust treated ten people for firework-related injuries last year.
Bradford firework safety campaigner Elizabeth Hellmich said she believed these figures made the district one of the worst in the country.  According to the latest figures from the Department of Trade and Industry, 1,362 people were hurt in accidents involving fireworks last year and injuries among under-18s jumped from 557 in 2000 to 787 last year.  There was a 58 per cent rise in the number of street accidents and a 42 per cent increase in injuries sustained at parties.
Sarah Colles, of the society, said: "These figures are extremely worrying as we believe many people may be planning to use fireworks at their Jubilee parties this weekend." She said it was vital that people followed the firework code and adults did not let children play with fireworks.
Ms Hellmich, of Heaton, said she was working with MPs to get a bill through Parliament about fireworks, which would include making it necessary for anyone buying fireworks to have a licence. She said she has attracted wide support for the cause and a particularly cheap type of firework had already been withdrawn.
A West Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said: "Obviously there is a danger of people celebrating the jubilee with bonfire or firework-related parties and people must observe the manufacturer's instructions. We don't want the Queen's Golden Jubilee to be marred by needless injuries."

This is Bristol 30 May 2002, PLEASE PUT AN END TO PET HATE - FIREWORKS
Pet lover Jeremy Norton has called for strict controls on fireworks to protect animals like Kipper his cat.
Mr Norton has organised a petition on behalf of Kipper, which has been signed by more than 1,000 people.
They now plan to meet Westonsuper-Mare's Liberal Democrat MP, Brian Cotter, in the hope that he will add his name to the list.
Jeremy, aged 63, of Nithsdale Road, Weston, and Kipper, his seven-year-old ginger tom, launched their campaign in the hope of banning fireworks except on specific dates. Ideally, they would like them to be allowed only between 6pm and 8pm on November 5 and from 11.45pm to 12.15am on New Year's Eve.
Jeremy, who works as a greeter at Sanders Garden World in Brent Knoll, said fireworks set off at other times caused animals unnecessary suffering.
He is concerned at the number of times displays are mounted around his home at all times of the year.
He said: "Animals, old people, children and citizens trying to sleep are terrified by fireworks which go on all through the night all through the area."
Jeremy, who is eagerly awaiting the introduction of silent fireworks, also said that five firework-related deaths in five years showed they were dangerous. He collected the signatures by asking people in his neighbourhood as well as approaching customers at work.
He will present his petition to Mr Cotter at his constituency office in Alexandra Parade at 1pm tomorrow.
Jeremy hopes Mr Cotter will take it to Parliament to be signed by other MPs who share his concerns before it is passed to the relevant minister.

Northant News 27 May 2002 Fireworks and airgun misuse have been omitted from the new Animal Welfare Bill.
Both cause severe trauma and death to wildlife, livestock and pets, and both bring in revenue! Why was the extension that was given to firework use for the millennium celebrations not revoked straight after?
We all now face more firework trauma through the summer due to the Queen's jubilee celebrations while many species will still be breeding and feeding their young in the wild, not to mention the thousands of aviary birds doing the same in captivity. How many nests will be deserted, and how many young will die due to inconsiderate revellers?
More red tape is not the answer to animal welfare, but the protection of all animals from suffering, to which both fireworks and airgun misuse are a major contributor.
A buzzard was startled by a firework in her aviary and now has pins holding her beak in place. She is on a very long road to recovery, she has to be hand fed, and any fright could cause her to damage her injury further and could result in her death. What a price to pay.
A R Meads, Safewings, South Street, Isham

This is Lancashire 25 May 2002 Man, 19, caged over 'vicious' attack
One of two men who caused an explosion which blew up a phone box is behind bars while another walked free.  Burnley Crown Court heard how Phillip Collinge, 19, and Howard Heap, 20, heard a "pop," and then a "boom," as a Chinese firework went off in the kiosk at Waterfoot, last April.  Collinge, who was also involved in a 'vicious' pub attack which left a man injured was sent to detention for a total of nine months.
Heap, given 80 hours community punishment, must pay £450 compensation.
Sentencing them, Judge Lesley Newton said the firework incident was stupid and potentially dangerous.

ICWales 21 May 2002 Call to remember animals and avoid letting off Jubilee fireworks
With less than two weeks to go before the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations begin the RSPCA is once again urging everyone to consider the pain and suffering some events can cause animals. The society is encouraging anyone planning a firework display in Wales to reconsider and attend events organised by professionals. Throughout all the festivities, fairs, fun days, fetes, street parties, concerts and displays the RSPCA is asking people to think about the effect these events could be having on farm animals, pets, and wildlife - and in particular to avoid holding firework displays and helium balloon releases.

ICScotland 12 May 2002 Police issue six more Millwall riot photos
Police have issued six more photos of suspected hooligans involved in the Millwall football riot.  Police were attacked with bricks, paving stones, flares and fireworks.  The numbers to ring with any information is the incident room on 020 7230 1354; people wishing to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

ICSouthLondon 8 May 2002 Report accuses a council of racism
The Group behind a hard-hitting report on racial harassment in Southwark has accused the council of institutional racism over its failure to tackle problems faced by black and ethnic minority people in the borough. The report compiled by Southwark United Group Against Racism (SUGAR) includes horrific personal testimonies from people who have suffered racial intimidation and physical attacks. The anonymous witnesses tell of the constant abuse, graffiti and threats which ruin people's lives and can leave them prisoners in their own homes. One family tell of having fireworks set off through their letter box.

ICSouthLondon 8 May 2002 We will see off the scum
Millwall's chairman and manager have vowed to stand firm and see off the hooligans who have dragged the club's name through the mud.  Both thought of quitting after the team's Premiership dream died and then a night of violence saw about 100 police injured, chairman Theo Paphitis revealed.
But he and manager Mark McGhee have now told the fans: "We are not quitters. We want to make it work."  Mr Paphitis added: "We will not be defeated by criminals. We will simply redouble our efforts to rid ourselves of this scum.
But security chief Ken Chapman added: 'We believe this violence was pre-planned - because you don't just chance upon thunder flashes and fireworks.

ICScotland 7 May 2002 Roy's rocket
I was so pleased to read in the Daily Record that MP Frank Roy has launched a campaign against fireworks.  Those terrible explosions we hear, not just on Guy Fawkes' night but month after month, are getting out of hand. He certainly has my support and I am sure I speak for many more who will support this cause. - Mrs R. L, Glasgow.

ICWales 7 May 2002 Report shows extent of child labour
One child in eight worldwide is involved in work that may cause physical or mental damage, the UN labour agency said yesterday. Some 246 million children worldwide are involved in unacceptable forms of child labour, of whom 179 million - most below the age of 15 - are in hazardous employment such as mining, fishing and construction, the International Labour Organisation said in a report on the problem of working children.  Competition in home-based manufacturing jobs such as fireworks, matches or incense sticks, also increases the potential for exploiting children.

ICScotland 5 May 2002 Two police hurt in rioting
Two officers have been seriously injured during a night of sustained violence in north Belfast. One officer is being treated for a suspected fractured skull, while the other suffered spinal injuries as loyalist and nationalist mobs went on the rampage.  At one point, rival crowds engaged in hand to hand fighting in the Crumlin Road area. As the security forces moved in, both sides threw petrol bombs and fireworks.

ICBirmingham 3 May 2002 50 police hurt on night of hate
Birmingham City fans ran a gauntlet of fear last night after their side's stunning victory over Millwall in the Division One play-off semi-final last night. Fifty police officers were hurt as Millwall hooligans targeted them and Blues supporters as violence erupted outside the New Den stadium in London after the match.
Jubilant Blues fans came under fire from Millwall supporters - including some who had not been at the game.  A group of about 50 hooligans began raining down fireworks and flares on the police.

ICScotland 3 May 2002 Roy's Rocket - MP in call for tougher rules on firework sales
An MP has launched a major campaign to stop fireworks being used as weapons. Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy is leading a drive to tighten the law on their sale in a bid to stop their increasing use as potentially deadly missiles. Roy has witnessed the growing trend of fireworks being used all year round, not just around Guy Fawkes night. A petition in his constituency has been signed by thousands of people and is now spreading across Scotland. The MP said: "This is the single most popular campaign I have ever run in my constituency. "I have been astonished at how many people are being terrorised because fireworks are being used inappropriately. "Fireworks are getting more powerful and are often used as weapons. "We hope to convince the Government, by showing this groundswell of popular support, of the need for tougher laws on fireworks." Fireworks are currently sold without any form of licensing and can be easily obtained by youngsters. Roy has had reports of telephone boxes being blown up and people's windows being blasted in by rockets fired by youngsters. He plans to present his petition to Tony Blair in June with the aim of bringing forward a Private Member's Bill after the summer. He also plans to present it to First Minister Jack McConnell because some areas of the law fall under the Scottish Executive. Roy wants to restrict the sale of fireworks to limited times of the year and their use to certain times of day. He also wants a strict new licensing regime for shops selling fireworks, with trading standards officers given powers to revoke the licence of anyone selling to children. Finally, Roy wants to ensure firework displays are run by licensed operators. Roy's campaign is backed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, which has set up a firework task group aimed at changing the law. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is also calling for new legislation. A spokesman said: "We hope that real change can be achieved. "The extended use of fireworks all year round is causing huge distress to animals with thousands being injured each year." To back Roy's petition ring his office on 01698 303040 or write to him at House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA.

This is Lancashire 2 May 2002 Fireworks appeal
The RSPCA in the North-west is encouraging anyone planning a fireworks display in celebration the Queen's Jubilee to reconsider and attend events organised by professionals.
Throughout the festivities, fairs, fun days, fetes, street parties, concerts and displays, the RSPCA is asking people to think about the effect these events could be having on pets, farm animals and wildlife -- and in particular to avoid holding displays and helium balloon releases.
Every year the RSPCA deals with hundreds of firework-related emergency calls involving acts of blatant cruelty, terrified pets that have bolted, or accidents that could easily have been avoided. Helium balloons, once burst, can cause animals to suffocate or starve by causing a blockage when swallowed.
Firework display organisers should ensure wildlife is not in danger and make sure people living nearby are aware of the event so they can keep pets indoors.

Burton Mail 25 April 2002 New call to change the firework laws
Councillors have called on the Government to change firework laws in a bid to protect Burton residents whose lives were made a misery in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night.  East Staffordshire councillor member for Uxbridge Sue Marbrow wants to see the legal age for buying fireworks increased to 21.  The Liberal Democrat councillor also wants new laws to ensure fireworks are not sold to the public before November 1, each year.  A motion, backed by Uxbridge ward's Conservative member, Asghar Chaudrhy, called on the authority to pressure the Home Secretary David Blunkett to change the laws and introduce a licensing system. Councillor Marbrow wants to see local authorities given powers to take away licenses if a shop is shown to be breaking the laws on fireworks sales.  The moves come after people in the Uxbridge area of Burton were last year living in terror as yobs let off fireworks in and around their homes.
Residents said explosives were being put through their letter boxes, thrown at cars and even thrown at people, nearly a month before Bonfire Night.
More than 100 people attended public meetings to put their fears to police and trading standards while plain-clothes officers mounted patrols in a bid to catch the troublemakers.  Now the Uxbridge ward members want to see tough new measures introduced to prevent a repeat of last year's scenes.
Councillor Marbrow told the Mail: "I would like to licence shops that sell fireworks, as we licence taxis and off-licences, so they can have action against them if they are breaking the law. "There doesn't seem to be any real enforcement because the police are too busy."  Councillors were not given a chance to debate the motion at a meeting this week after it was referred to the authority's community services scrutiny panel.
Afterwards Councillor Marbrow said she was disappointed the motion had not been debated by the full council.
Council leader Julian Mott said: "The main reason for the referral was we want evidence when we are making decisions.  "I thought it would have been better for the scrutiny panel to look at it and make recommendations to the full council."

This is North Scotland -24 April 2002, NEW BID TO BAN SALE OF FIREWORKS TO PUBLIC
An Aberdeenshire councillor is calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.
Central Buchan SNP member Stan Tennant wants sales restricted to authorised people in charge of organised displays.
He claims "an irresponsible minority of louts" who terrorise people and pets have forced his hand.
He said: "Over the last four or five years, the period that people use fireworks round about November has been getting longer and longer.
Councillor Tennant has lodged a notice of motion for tomorrow's full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council.
It calls on legal chiefs to bring forward proposals for a by-law banning the sale of fireworks to the public.
An Aberdeenshire councillor is calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.
Central Buchan SNP member Stan Tennant wants sales restricted to authorised people in charge of organised displays.
He claims "an irresponsible minority of louts" who terrorise people and pets have forced his hand.
He said: "Over the last four or five years, the period that people use fireworks round about November has been getting longer and longer both before and after the fifth.
"There have been moves nationally to restrict sales but this never seems to come to anything."
Councillor Tennant has lodged a notice of motion for tomorrow's full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council.
It calls on legal chiefs to bring forward proposals for a by-law banning the sale of fireworks to the public.
He said: "The sale of bangers is now banned but people are now buying things called air bombs which are projectiles and more powerful than bangers.
"Last year in Strichen they were blowing apart cast iron down pipes and I heard that a post box was blown up in Fraserburgh.  "I don't want to be a killjoy, but these things are dangerous."
A spokesman for consumer protection at Aberdeen City Council said the issue of fireworks had also been raised by them.  He said: "The council has made suggestions to COSLA about restricting the periods that fireworks are sold."

ICTees-side 22 April 2002 Let's copy Ulster ban on fireworks
Campaigner Pearl Hall is calling on MPs to follow Northern Ireland's new firework laws. Pearl, who has been calling for a ban on domestic firework sales in this country, reacted after Northern Ireland Security Minister Jane Kennedy announced new restrictions on fireworks. The regulations, which come into force in Northern Ireland next month, will prohibit the purchase, possession, sale and use of fireworks except under licence. The change in the law will mean only those who successfully apply for a licence will be allowed to buy fireworks. Anyone without a licence found in possession of fireworks could face a £5,000 fine. Pearl, who runs the Open All Hours store in South Bank, has been calling for a similar ban in this country. She was in her shop last year when yobs threw in fireworks and a fire cracker exploded. "What is good enough for Northern Ireland is good enough for us," she said. Announcing the legislation, Ms Kennedy said: "I know from the groundswell of public opinion during the consultation process just how upset many people have been by the constant abuse of fireworks."
Earlier this month Pearl, 80, joined campaigners to lobby MPs at Parliament. She now hopes Teesside's MPs will back her when bills calling for firework restrictions, put before the Commons by MPs Barry Gardiner and Joan Ryan, get a second hearing on June 21.

Teletext North East 20 April 2002 RSPCA Urge Jubilee Consideration
RSPCA Inspectors in the North East are urging everyone planning celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee, to consider the potential suffering of animals.
They are asking people having firework displays to attend organised events instead, and show consideration to pets.
An RSPCA Spokesman said, "We urge anyone thinking of organising a display for the Queen's Jubilee to reconsider." 19 April 2002 Riot blast bomb fear
Police and the Army were today investigating the possibility that a blast bomb exploded, setting an oil tank on fire during riots between rival factions in Northern Belfast last night.  Police said there were "major disturbances" in the Ardoyne Road area, with petrol bombs thrown and a large number of fireworks set off.

This is Wiltshire 18 April 2002 Firm fined for selling firework to boy of 13
The owners of Martins Newsagents in Pewsey High Street have been fined £3,000 for selling a firework to a boy under the age of 18.   Martins is owned by Forbuoys and the company pleaded guilty to the offence, which happened on November 1.  Wiltshire County Council trading standards officers carried out tests on stores using three recruits aged 13.  Out of 71 shops assessed in Kennet just one  Martins  failed the test.
Kennet Magistrates' Court in Devizes heard last Thursday that Steven Doyle, a trading standards officer, took part in the test purchase at Martins with a boy aged 13.
John Deegan, prosecuting, said the pair went into the shop separately and the officer selected a soft drink and stood behind the boy in the queue to be served.  The boy had with him a PlayStation magazine and when he reached the counter he asked the shop assistant, Pamela Green, for some rockets.
Mr Devlin said: "Mrs Green walked to a metal storage box, opened it and said: `Choose what you want'.
"Mr Doyle noted next to the box was a sign stating it is illegal to sell fireworks to anybody under the age of eighteen." The boy bought a firework and left the shop.
Sarah Regan, representing Forbuoys, said Mrs Green, a 68-year-old grandmother, had a great deal of experience in the retail trade and had worked for Forbuoys for years. The court heard Mrs Green had been tested undercover by trading standards 18 months ago and had refused to sell glue to an underaged youth.
The store's records showed she had refused to sell a firework to someone a few days before this incident because she thought the person was under age.  On the day in question she said she was on her own in the shop, it was busy and she felt the customers waiting were becoming aggravated.
In a statement, Mrs Green said:   "When the trading standards officer came back in I realised what I had done and felt physically sick. I am sorry it has happened and I have no excuses whatsoever."
Mrs Green told the trading standards officer she had not received training from the company on under- age sales.
Miss Regan said Forbuoys, which owns 1,400 stores, had measures to assist staff who sold age-restrictive products and had invested £2m since the incident in a CD-Rom training system.
As well as the £3,000 fine magistrates also ordered Forbuoys to pay £575 prosecution costs. The maximum penalty possible for the offence is £5,000.

This is Bradford 15 April 2002 Crackdown sought on firework sales
Bradford Council is set to seek legislation which would limit the period in which fireworks can be sold.
The move comes as increasing numbers of people object to noise and nuisance throughout the year.
Trading standards officers say large numbers of fireworks are used at New Year, as well as for weddings and parties at other times.  Now the Council's environment scrutiny committee, which will consider the problem on Thursday, is expected to agree to lobby Parliament, along with police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards, to restrict sales to a certain part of the year.  Pressure would also be put on the Government to increase the powers of the police and Trading Standards to deal with the nuisance.
The move was welcomed by firework safety campaigner Elizabeth Hellmich, of Heaton.
"If they can do it then all power to them, but I think it would be unworkable - people are using them for celebrations all year round now and it would be extremely difficult to police," she said.
"What we're campaigning for is tighter controls on imports, restricting the time of day when they can be exploded and putting a limit on their decibel output.''
But Khadim Hussain, executive committee member of Bradford Council for Mosques, said: "It is the tradition to have fireworks at Eastern weddings and I don't think it would work to restrict the times of the year when they could be sold.
"I think it would be better to restrict the times of the day when they could be used, such as late at night. The places where they are used should be restricted as well, for example old people's homes."
West Yorkshire Trading Standards safety officer Paul Cooper said existing legislation only covered safety issues and there was a voluntary code of conduct between the manufacturers and retailers limiting the sale period to three weeks before and a few days after November 5.
"I agree that the legislation should cover safety but fireworks are now being used 12 months a year."
The Council's director of legal and democratic services, Gerry Danby, says in a report to the committee that fireworks are used indiscriminately throughout the year. Members will be told there is associated vandalism causing distress and nuisance.
Celebrations sometimes continue for five days. Chains of fireworks make a noise like gunfire, and are often close to houses, says Mr Danby.

Burton Mail 12 April 2002 Hunt on for phone box blast vandals
Police are hunting vandals who caused an explosion in a phone box after letting off fireworks.
The fireworks were thrown into the kiosk, causing the door to be blown off and scattering glass across a wide area.
Residents heard a loud bang and saw a car being driven away at speed following the explosion, which wrecked the old-style red phone booth.  The door landed several yards away because of the force of the blast. It happened in Windsor Road, Uttoxeter, on Tuesday night and is being linked to another incident earlier on when fireworks were let off in a wheelie bin in Mill Street, Rocester. No-one was hurt in either incident.
Andrew Gilbert, 41, rang 999 after he saw the explosion in Windsor Road, near to his home in Grange Road.
"My wife had asked me to open the window because she was a bit warm and I was just looking through when I saw this flash and a car tearing off down the road. It was a dark car like a Fiesta or a Nova," he said.
"I rang 999 and they put me through to Inverness in Scotland, who put me through to Staffordshire. I had to ring Scotland to get to Staffordshire, but the fire service were there in five minutes. The phone box has been vandalised before, but it's never been blown up. I couldn't believe it."
Edith Matthews, 82, who lives in Moseley Drive, opposite the phone box, was in bed when she heard the explosion. She said: "It sounded like a bomb going off. I got up and went to the window and saw the police and fire engine come up. There was debris scattered about.
"They have vandalised the phone box before, but nothing like this. It's always been fairly all right living here."
Inspector Andy Mason, of Uttoxeter police, said: "We are linking the incident in Uttoxeter and the one in Rocester and would appeal to anyone with information to contact us.
"Fireworks were recovered from the debris in Windsor Road. We think it was a case of vandals throwing fireworks into a confined space and causing a lot of mess. There is nothing to indicate it was anything more sinister than that, but we always keep an open mind."
The explosion in the wheelie bin led to the contents being strewn across the street. This incident happened at 8pm on Tuesday.

This is Lancashire 12 April 2002 Call for new laws on firework sales
A Bury pet lover is supporting a growing nationwide campaign to control the sale and use of fireworks.  Mrs Pamela Pearson, who runs her own Prevent Unwanted Pets animal welfare charity, has collected more than 300 signatures to back her campaign.  And some of the organisations which have taken her petitions have also enlisted strong support.  Mrs Pearson's own efforts mirror those being conducted throughout the country by other groups calling for Control of Fireworks for Animal Welfare legislation.  She said: "I've collected 300 signatures myself. I've taken my petition to veterinary surgeries and to shops, some of which sell fireworks."  Mrs Pearson wants the Government to slap a total ban on large fireworks which cause excessive levels of noise and distress.   And she is also pressing for all such goods to be licensed with limited dates so that fireworks can only be used within a stipulated period of between three and four weeks a year and at strictly organised events only.  "I want to help greatly reduce the number of injuries caused each year to humans and domestic animals by fireworks and to end the distress suffered by household pets." 
Mrs Pearson says her campaign has received the support of many other pet lovers in the area. She is sending the 300 signatures collected so far to Home Secretary David Blunkett but will continue her campaign to win further backing for new firework legislation.

This is Worcester 12 April 2002 It was like the Somme
Houses shook, pond water vibrated and sounds like cannon fire echoed around Kempsey during a recent firework display, parish council members claimed.  "It was like the Somme, with cannon fire for about 20 minutes - just like a war zone," said Micki Howes-Jones.  The firework display following a wedding reception at The Nash, Kempsey, had been exceptionally noisy, members agreed at a council meeting.  "We are two miles away and if it's noisy for us, goodness knows what it's like when you are nearer," said vice-chairman Ray Ellis.  Mrs Howes-Jones said she had received four complaints from other residents after the display.  "They have had fireworks for years and I haven't made a to-do about it, but that one was extreme," she said.  Pete Copson said he thought there had been a crash on the motorway.  "The house shook and it was vibrating the water in my fish pond," he said. But Kim Rowswell said she had heard the fireworks too, and thought it was being "a bit killjoy" to complain about them.  District councillor Henry Morris said some people thought it was marvellous and others with animals, or who were sick, were disturbed by it.   Environmental health inspectors had investigated the noise levels of fireworks at The Nash two years ago.  "There were three or four displays that year and they didn't consider it was enough to take any action," he said.  "It seems fireworks at any time of year are becoming part of our lives."  The management of The Nash has offered to provide advance warning of future displays to anyone who requires it.  Wedding co-ordinator Sarah Tombs said there were three displays last year and only one so far this year, with no others booked at present.  "That was probably a one-off, being as loud and long as that.  "They had spent £2,500 on fireworks and it was spectacular. It's a pity people didn't come and watch it," she said.  "Since September last year we have promised that we won't have any firework displays after 9pm.  "We do ask people not to have them too loud, but once they start going off it is out of our hands.  "The only other step we can take is to put an advance notice in the shop window." She said it was unlikely there would be any displays during the summer months, as it would not be dark enough at 9pm.

Nottingham Evening Post  11 April 2002 Fireworks Notts Call For a  Ban
The signatures of 12,500 Notts residents demanding a ban on firework sales to the public have been handed to MPs at Westminster.   Co-organiser of the petition, Hazel Wilson, 71, from Rainworth, travelled to London yesterday to present the names on behalf of Coffaw (Control of Fireworks for Animal Welfare). In total nearly 130,000 people from across the country signed the petition.  Many people signed it as a result of the Evening Post's Be Safe Not Sorry campaign which also calls for a ban on firework sales, except for organised displays.  Mrs Wilson presented it to MP Barry Gardiner who, co-sponsored by Broxtowe MP Nick Palmer, attempted to steer a Bill through Parliament which would have banned the sale of fireworks to the public.  Mrs Wilson said: "There has been so much support for this petition that I have agreed to keep the Notts one going to collect more signatures over the summer. We hope this will bring about a change with a complete ban on sales of fireworks to the general public."  Mrs Wilson has been collecting names since November when her seven-year-old cat Pip died from trauma after a firework was set off near him.   Receiving the petition, Mr Gardiner, who represents Brent North, said: "I know there is a strong campaign going on in Nottingham on this issue. A tenth of the entire petition was signed by people from Notts which just shows the level of support that there is in the county for effective control of fireworks."
About 20 people from across the country attended the reception to hand over the petition in Portcullis House at the House of Commons.   Dr Palmer had been due to be there but had to remain in Notts for family reasons.
He told the Post: "I really feel this gives tremendous encouragement to the campaign which I and the Post have been promoting and I'm very grateful for all the support we have had. This petition will really help us push the cause along."
The Government is currently looking at ways of increasing the regulation of fireworks, but it is thought likely it will stop short of an outright ban to the public.

IcTeesside 10 April 2002 Banger battle goes to the top, by The Evening Gazette
Campaigning pensioner Pearl Hall was due at Westminster today - and fireworks were likely. South Bank shopkeeper Pearl, 80, wants a ban domestic firework sales and is determined to make MPs listen. So today, she was joining national campaigners in a lobby of Parliament. And Pearl, who is taking along a home-made banner, wasn't planning to pull any punches. She said: "I want an assurance from MPs that they will vote for a ban. There has been no legislation for 137 years. "I would like to see local firework sales banned altogether. One public display is enough." One of the slogans on her banner read: "Fireworks - all unite against this misery." Pearl suffered weeks of torment during last year's Bonfire Night period. Yobs threw fireworks at people in the street and she had to dive for cover when an exploding fire cracker was lobbed into her Open All Hours shop. Today, a demonstration was due to be held outside the Commons before around 50 campaigners - including battling Pearl - were to be ushered inside to meet MPs in the Portcullis House annex. Among the MPs due to attend were Barry Gardiner and Joan Ryan, who have both put Bills before the Commons calling for firework restrictions. Jo Steer, of national campaigners COFFAW - Control of Fireworks For Animal Welfare - was taking along petitions containing a total of up to 150,000 names. All the petitions, compiled nationally, call for tougher controls on firework sales. She said: "We hope to ensure the whole of Parliament is aware of the support for restrictions to be put in place."

Times Online April 10, 2002  Tourist died after fireworks exploded on bus By Lewis Smith
A British tourist visiting South America died after a box of smuggled fireworks exploded at her feet in an overheated bus, an inquest was told yesterday.  Aimee Stephenson was severely burnt in the explosion last year in Peru but had to wait more than 24 hours to get treatment. Only one ambulance reached the bus and would transport only Peruvians who had paid their medical insurance.  Ms Stephenson, 45, who was travelling with her boyfriend, Tim Jackson, 34, who was also injured, was taken by a local doctor the next day to a clinic 100 miles away in the town of Arequipa.  The following week she was flown to Britain with Mr Jackson for specialist care at Salisbury District Hospital but died on December 20, a month after the explosion. She had suffered third-degree burns over half her body.  Mr Jackson, who lived with Ms Stephenson in Hastings, told the inquest in Salisbury: "I remember a single explosion and everything was black with thick smoke. I could smell gunpowder and see flames leaping from under the seat in front of me. I remember people screaming and trying to beat the flames out. I eventually found Aimee and we climbed out of a window."
The couple, who were combining a holiday with research for a book, were less than three weeks into a ten-week tour of South America when the fireworks detonated in the intense heat and set off more hidden in the luggage hold. They caught the bus in Arica, Chile, on November 24 and had been on board for almost five hours when the fireworks blew up.
David Masters, the Wiltshire coroner, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing and said: "Aimee did not die as a result of an accident - if this had happened in Britain there would have been a prosecution for manslaughter.
"It was dangerous and illegal act to transport these sorts of fireworks in this way. Aimee was put at enormous risk of considerable harm, as was Mr Jackson."
Ms Stephenson's death prompted an investigation by the Peruvian police and customs officials into the illegal trade in fireworks, which are an important source of income for street vendors in the country's capital, Lima. As a result, security checks on long-haul buses were tightened.

IcCoventry 6 April 2002 Bid to tackle abuse worries
A record 80 people turned up to a residents association meeting to discuss problems of anti-social behaviour in their Coventry neighbourhood. People living in Oliver Street, Freeman Street, Hampton Road and Hampton Close, Foleshill, packed the St Barnabas Centre for a meeting with local beat bobby PC Rod Twist. Last week the Evening Telegraph reported how one local shopkeeper said she had suffered 18 years of racial abuse and attacks on her business, with youths hurling fireworks and bricks at the windows and daubing graffiti on the walls. PC Twist said he was delighted at the good turnout from local residents, the best since the association was set up last year to tackle the issues.

Bristol Evening Post  4 April 2002 Unwanted Noise
It was the first holiday of the year and the late-night fireworks have started.
I'm talking about Good Friday, the saddest day in the Christian calendar, yet it went out with a bang - why?
Do the organisers ever give a thought for the animals in the Bristol Dogs Home? It must be terrifying for them.
Why all the bangers? Lovely displays can surely be held without the dreadful noise.
It seems everything arranged in the Centre throughout the year has to finish with noisy fireworks.
They are a curse, yet we're all supposed to like them, and we end up having the noise forced on us.

Burton Mail 4 April 2002 Hunt on for phone box blast vandals,
Police are hunting vandals who caused an explosion in a phone box after letting off fireworks.  The fireworks were thrown into the kiosk, causing the door to be blown off and scattering glass across a wide area.
Residents heard a loud bang and saw a car being driven away at speed following the explosion, which wrecked the old-style red phone booth.
The door landed several yards away because of the force of the blast. It happened in Windsor Road, Uttoxeter, on Tuesday night and is being linked to another incident earlier on when fireworks were let off in a wheelie bin in Mill Street, Rocester. No-one was hurt in either incident.
Andrew Gilbert, 41, rang 999 after he saw the explosion in Windsor Road, near to his home in Grange Road.
"My wife had asked me to open the window because she was a bit warm and I was just looking through when I saw this flash and a car tearing off down the road. It was a dark car like a Fiesta or a Nova," he said.
"I rang 999 and they put me through to Inverness in Scotland, who put me through to Staffordshire. I had to ring Scotland to get to Staffordshire, but the fire service were there in five minutes. The phone box has been vandalised before, but it's never been blown up. I couldn't believe it."
Edith Matthews, 82, who lives in Moseley Drive, opposite the phone box, was in bed when she heard the explosion. She said: "It sounded like a bomb going off. I got up and went to the window and saw the police and fire engine come up. There was debris scattered about.
"They have vandalised the phone box before, but nothing like this. It's always been fairly all right living here."
Inspector Andy Mason, of Uttoxeter police, said: "We are linking the incident in Uttoxeter and the one in Rocester and would appeal to anyone with information to contact us.
"Fireworks were recovered from the debris in Windsor Road. We think it was a case of vandals throwing fireworks into a confined space and causing a lot of mess. There is nothing to indicate it was anything more sinister than that, but we always keep an open mind."
The explosion in the wheelie bin led to the contents being strewn across the street. This incident happened at 8pm on Tuesday.

This is The Black Country 4 April 2002 Firework fight for MP
Stourbridge MP Debra Shipley is calling for tighter regulations on selling fireworks after complaints about them being let off in March. Miss Shipley attended the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fireworks, set up because of fears over the reckless use of potentially lethal fireworks. She has had complaints from Stourbridge people about the inappropriate use of fireworks and the fact they are now on sale for much longer than the traditional bonfire celebrations around November 5. She said: "The noise and reckless use of fireworks is unacceptable and is distressing for older people and animals. I will continue to press the Government to licence fireworks for community events only."

Nottingham Evening Post 3 April 2002 FIREWORKS DEMO
The Control of Fireworks for Animal Welfare (COFFAW) petition will be presented at the Houses of Parliament in Port Cullis House at 10.30am on Wednesday, April 10.  A meeting has been arranged with MPs in the process of putting forward firework bills.  All supporters are welcome at this peaceful demonstration and I urge all local MPs and councillors who are in favour of these bills to attend.  The more in attendance the bigger impact. April 10 is also Prime Minister's question time.
B. W. Bakersfield

This is Brighton and Hove 2 April 2002 Call to end fireworks menace
Residents have called for an end to late-night, seafront fireworks.  Displays near the Palace Pier have been rocking central Brighton and Hove over the past two weekends. One was organised by the company running the pier while others were smaller displays from beach parties. A ten-minute Easter Sunday display at 10pm from a barge moored next to the pier caught many elderly people and pet owners by surprise. Animal rights campaigner Rena Collins, 75, of Dorset Gardens, Kemp Town, has organised petitions against the displays in the past. She said: "Once again the people of central Brighton have been suddenly hit by a firework display. At first you don't know whether it is an explosion or not. Many elderly people remember the Blitz and it brings back those memories. "We don't mind fireworks on November 5, as people with pets can plan for it and get their pets tranquillisers or make sure they are at home with them. But these sudden displays catch people out. "Immediately after the first explosive firework you hear the birds being disturbed then you hear dogs barking. "Many residents had no idea there was going to be fireworks at 10pm on Easter Sunday night.  "If people think a few pretty things in the sky and loud bangs are more important than living creatures then I feel sorry for the people of Brighton and Hove." Trevor Scoble, of Madeira Place, Brighton, said: "This is the second weekend in a row we have had fireworks near the pier. "The noise on Sunday was horrendous. I was watching people walk past my home and few seemed to stop and watch. Whoever is sponsoring the displays is wasting their money.  "You don't mind fireworks on November 5 or special occasions such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee but not every weekend as it seems to be at the moment. "We were woken at 2.30am the Sunday before last by someone letting off fireworks on the beach and there was another small display the previous Saturday."  Denise Friend, of Hythe Road, Brighton, said: "I have four cats and a dog and my dog was scared on Sunday night. Goodness knows how pets close to the seafront must have felt."
Palace Pier spokeswoman Clare Wedger said: "This was the first display we have organised this year. We had planned the display on Saturday night and postponed it because of the Queen Mother's death.  "We did advertise it on the pier and on a banner across the pier. We will be having the displays on the Saturday night of the next bank holiday weekends in May and June. "The fireworks are very popular and bring many people on to the pier. I find it sad that, when we put on an event that is enjoyed by thousands of people, we get criticised."

IcHuddersfield 1 April 2002 Call for tougher firework controls
Calder Valley MP Chris McCafferty is campaigning for stricter controls on fireworks. She is collecting a petition calling on the Government to provide time for backbench legislation to bring in key reforms to existing laws. They are: * To require all public firework displays to be controlled by licensed pyrotechnicians. * To restrict the time of year fireworks can be bought. * To restrict the time of day fireworks can be set off. * To license all vendors of fireworks to meet strict criteria; * To give Trading Standards the power to revoke the licence of any vendor caught selling fireworks to underage children. Mrs McCafferty said: "Fireworks used to be a fun event, now they are let off recklessly, at any time of the day or night throughout the year, and are causing enormous distress to people and their pets. " I strongly believe that the Government needs to support these proposals and provide time for legislation to be brought forward from the backbenches."

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