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Fireworks crackdown welcomed; CALL FOR EVEN TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS.

Byline: DEAN VALLER

PEOPLE in Coventry have welcomed a government ban on fireworks late at night but have urged the city council to push for more restrictions.

A national ban between 11pm and 7am daily could be in place by November 5 this year as part of a crackdown on noisy and dangerous fireworks.

A new private member's bill would also ban the sale of powerful fireworks to the public and local authorities could refuse or revoke licences to shopkeepers selling illegally.

It follows a Coventry City Council campaign to get a bylaw to outlaw late-night fireworks and a petition from city people.

But Karen Paterson, aged 30, who runs Paterson's Newsagent with husband John, in Daventry Road, Cheylesmore, said licences should be introduced for anyone wishing to buy fireworks.

She said: "I think people are generally happy with what is being proposed and our customers have welcomed it. But I think they should introduce a similar scheme to one in Ireland where people have to have a licence to buy fireworks."

Mrs Paterson said the shop had sold fireworks for the past two years - but did not intend to do so this year because of problems with youngsters.

Phil James, aged 50, station commander at Coventry's Radford Road fire station, said parents and families also needed to do their bit.

He said: "The latest news is a welcome change in the legislation but we are still left with the issue of anti-social behaviour."

Cllr John McNicholas (Lab, Lower Stoke) did not believe fireworks could be banned altogether. "We will add to petitions that city people would like an outright ban but acknowledge the best way forward is to control category 3 and major fireworks and their sale."

dean.valler@mrn.co.uk

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WAY FORWARD: Cllr John McNicholas
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 20, 2003
Words:300
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