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Now our sparklers are going out with a ban; Hand-held fireworks and alcohol will not be allowed at displays in North East.

Byline: Michael Brown

SPARKLERS have been banned from some of the region's top fireworks displays over health and safety fears.

Both Newcastle and Gateshead councils have outlawed the handheld fireworks - as well as alcohol - after receiving advice from their respective safety advisory committees.

That means visitors to tonight's events south of the river at Saltwell Park, Barmoor and Oliver Henderson Park, and in the city at Elswick Park, Broadway West Playing Fields, Sandyford's City Stadium and Walker Park will be unable to wave sparklers.

And organisers of tomorrow night's privately organised fireworks display at Newcastle Cricket Club, in Jesmond, have also banned sparklers.

Gateshead Council head of libraries, arts and culture, Ann Borthwick said: "Our organised fireworks events are spectacular and very popular attracting tens of thousands of people and making for a very busy site.

"We want people to have a good time in safety and we take advice from emergency services.

"That advice includes asking members of the public not to bring in their own fireworks and sparklers, which is a sensible precaution that we are sure the vast majority of people who have been to our displays would agree with."

Despite the concerns of their council neighbours, representatives of North Tyneside Council said they had no qualms about allowing spectators to use sparklers at their event tomorrow, which features fireworks and fairground rides at The Links in Whitley Bay.

And even Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, which is once again running the Be Safe, Not Sorry campaign to highlight bonfire night safety, said it was not against the use of sparklers.

Group manager Dave Jefferson said: "Sparklers can get six times hotter as a pan of cooking oil and sparkler injuries have been on the increase.

"But all we want is for everyone to enjoy fireworks, sparklers and bonfires without harm to themselves or to others so we are advising people to attend a professional organised display so that they can have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night experience. If you use sparklers, make sure they are in safe hands and never give them to children under the age of five."

To stay safe if using sparklers, ensure to always supervise children and give them gloves to wear when holding the lit fireworks. Also avoid dressing children in loose or flowing clothes which may catch light and show kids how to hold sparklers away from their body and at arm's length.

ORGANISED DISPLAYS NEWCASTLE: Today: Elswick Park, 7pm, free; Broadway West Playing Fields, Gosforth, 6pm, pounds 3 adults, pounds 1 children; City Stadium, Sandyford, 6.30pm, free; Walker Park, 6pm, free; Ouseburn Community Centre, 5.15pm, free. Tomorrow; Newcastle Cricket Club, Jesmond, 5.30pm, adults pounds 4, children pounds 2. GATESHEAD: Today: Saltwell Park, 7pm, free; Barmoor, Ryton, 7pm, free; Oliver Henderson Park, Leam Lane, 7pm, free; Blaydon Rugby Club, Swalwell, 5pm.

NORTH TYNESIDE: Today: Tynemouth Cricket Club, North Shields, 6pm; Blue Flame Sports Ground, Benton, 5.30pm, adults pounds 3.50, children pounds 2.50; Tomorrow: The Links, Whitley Bay, 6pm, free.

SOUTH TYNESIDE: Today: Saturday: Oakleigh Gardens School, Cleadon, 5.30pm, adults pounds 4, children pounds 3. Tomorrow: Foreshore skatepark, South Shields, short display at 6.30pm, longer display at 8pm, free.

SUNDERLAND: Today: Ashbrooke Sports Club, Ashbrooke, 6pm, tickets from the club; Hetton Lyons Cricket Club, Easington Lane, 7pm, adults pounds 3, children pounds 2. NORTHUMBERLAND: Today: Alnwick Rugby Club, Alnwick, 6pm, adults pounds 5, children pounds 3; The Sele, Hexham, 6.30pm, free; Higham Lakes, Ponteland, 5pm, adults pounds 5, children pounds 2, under-fives free; Prudhoe Town Football Club, Prudhoe, 7pm, free. Tomorrow: Ashington Football Club, Ashington, tickets pounds 3; Beal, near Holy Island, 6.30pm, family ticket pounds 15, adults pounds 6, children pounds 3 after, under fives free; Morpeth Rugby Club, Road, Morpeth, 5pm; Cragside House, Rothbury, 5.30pm, tickets pounds 5. DURHAM: Today: Police Head Quarters, Aykley Heads, Durham, 5pm, adults pounds 2, children pounds 1, under fives free; Quarrington Hill Community Association, Front Street, 6pm; Lanchester Cricket Club, Lanchester, 6pm, free. Sunday: The Black Horse, Beamish, free.

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BANNED Health and safety fears prompted a ban STAYING SAFE Sparklers have been banned from some displays
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 5, 2011
Words:699
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