MPs debated whether or not the sale of fireworks should be drastically limited in Parliament yesterday.
The debate took place after a petition calling for a clampdown on firework sales and displays to be limited to those licensed by local councils was signed by more than 300,000 people, and backed by a number of human and animal welfare charities.
The petition – which was live last year, and amassed hundreds of thousands of signatures – says the current law “allows for public use of fireworks 16 hours a day, every day, making it impossible for vulnerable groups to take precautions against the distress they can cause.”
But campaigners who backed the petition said noisy fireworks cause “distress” to vulnerable people and animals.
The proposed sales clampdown would spell the end of many annual domestic firework displays.
During the debate, concerns were raised over a number of issues relating to firework sales and displays, including about the impact of fireworks on newborn children, with Alex Davies-Jones – MP for Pontypridd – saying: “There has been little terms of progress for practical change [and although] a well-organised fireworks display is something people look forward to, we must consider the impacts it has on some.”
MP Justin Madders switched the debate over to animal welfare, by referencing an incident where a dog in his constituency of Ellesmere Port jumped from a first-floor window and ran onto a motorway, adding: “The fact she reacted how she did shows how she must have been feeling.”
MPs also heard claims that over 100 people a year end up in hospital after firework-related incidents.
Over 4,000 animals require support due to fireworks too.
Darlington MP Peter Gibson then acknowledged the claims and said he “understands” the concerns of pet owners, but said a ban would be “counter-productive”, and added that: “We all know how special November 5 can be and many look forward to dazzling fireworks and bonfire shows, however many are afraid and we know fireworks can be used as weapons.
“As a dog owner myself, I well understand the concerns of Darlington pet owners.”
He also referenced that anti-social abuse of fireworks continues around the country, and particularly highlighted fireworks bought online, rather than in supermarkets and dedicated firework shops.
Summarising the points heard in the debate and addressing the issue, Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “I am grateful to members of the public who signed this e-petition. An outright ban on fireworks and an outright ban to the sale to the public is not appropriate.
“We have concerns banning fireworks in this way could have significantly adverse and unintended consequences on public safety perpetuating the emergence of a black market of illicit fireworks.
“There was a reason in the 2019 debate, yes it was an election, and there was an enquiry and the evidence given did align with the current view, that included the police chiefs council and fire chiefs council.
“This debate looks at the impact on vulnerable people and animals.”
Mr Scully says he “sympathised” with animals, and said the government carried out a programme on firework safety.
Following yesterday’s debate, it was heard that further debates would be required in the House of Commons should anything be amended legislatively in the future.
Featured Image – Hippopx
Burgerism is opening a fifth location in Denton
Legendary Manc burger joint and takeaway Burgerism is opening another brand new location in Denton as they continue to expand their Greater Manchester empire.
Set to be their fifth brick-and-mortar site, including their existing venues in Salford, Gatley, the delivery-only kitchen in Manchester city centre and the pop-up in Freight Island, the new Tameside venue sees them reach further across the region after first launching back in 2018.
Sharing the news last week, the smash-burger experts have revealed will be bringing their signature patties, wings, fries and homemade dips to Denton‘s Stockport Road.
Popping up in place of the former Pizza Hut delivery store, the latest location is due to open in mid-March this year. Absolute scenes.
Soon to cover customers living in Denton, Hyde, Stalybridge and beyond, people can rock up to the new adjoined car park space to pick up and collect with ease, and lord knows we love a drive-thru.
To tell the truth, they’ve earned so many accolades in the six years since opening that we’ve lost track, having also been named the eighth most-ordered item on Deliveroo in the UK and the single most-ordered burger in Manchester for 2021. They even scored a collab with the one and only Hawksmoor.
They genuinely might be the best burgers in Greater Manchester.
It still remains the most popular item on Deliveroo in Manchester and this newest venue serves as yet more proof that Burgerism is one if not the best in the game and they are set to make their first moves into Liverpool at the popular Blackstock Market too.
The company’s founder, Mark Murphy, commented: “Burgerism brings restaurant quality smashed burgers straight into people’s homes. Our dream is to be the UK’s go-to delivery burger across the UK, like Domino’s is to pizza. And Denton represents the next piece of the puzzle to do that.
“We’re super excited to launch in the North East of Manchester area. Right from day one, we’ve had loads of die-hard Burgerism fans making the pilgrimage around the M60 to Salford and, while we’ve admired their commitment, we felt it was time to bring Burgerism closer to more of our friends and fans.”
We can’t wait for yet another excuse to try the FreeBird and the Wholly Double only in Tameside.
Tram upgrades and track replacements to take place across Greater Manchester this summer
Upgrades to trams and several track replacements are set to take place across Greater Manchester this summer.
It comes after it was announced last week that an extra £21.4 million investment funding is being ploughed into the Metrolink network over the next 12 months in a bid to “improve” it and ensure that services remain as “safe and reliable” as possible for years to come, according to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
The improvement works were approved by the Bee Network committee last Thursday (22 February).
According to TfGM, the work is part of a planned £147 million package to “maintain, upgrade, and improve” the network throughout the region up to 2027.
Immediate priorities for this summer include track replacement in several parts of the city centre, including Piccadilly Gardens and London Road, and on parts of the Altrincham, and Bury Lines too – which transport bosses claim will mean “quicker, smoother, and more reliable” journeys for passengers using these services.
Plans also include a programme of modifications to the trams themselves, and the installing of state-of-the-art safety systems – including sensors in the middle of double trams, and speed warning devices.
Tram upgrades and track replacements are set to take place across Greater Manchester this summer / Credit: TfGM
New electrical substations are being added along parts of the Bury Line too to additional power so that more doubles trams run in future.
Metrolink is also replacing much of the communications network that’s said to be “critical” to the operation of its signalling and control systems, and is also looking into the replacement of overhead lines on some of the older parts of the network too.
Although the long-term benefits of the works to passengers are expected to be significant, TfGM has conceded that the improvement works set to take place this summer will mean some short-term disruption – but says this is planned to “minimise inconvenience to passengers”.
Vital information about service changes and replacement bus services will be available well in advance of the work, it has been confirmed.
Works are part of a planned £147m improvement package for the Metrolink network / Credit: Mangopear Creative (via Unsplash)
“Metrolink is an integral part of the Bee Network,” explained Danny Vaughan, who is TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, as the plans were announced last week, “And it’s really important that we invest in it so that we can continue to provide a safe, reliable, and positive experience for the thousands of people who travel with us every day.
“This is a coordinated package of planned works to maintain, renew, and improve the network and help to keep Greater Manchester moving.
“While we understand any disruption can be frustrating, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it to a minimum, and we will make sure passengers know what’s happening well in advance, so I’d ask people to please bear with us while the works are carried out, as the benefits will be there to be enjoyed for years to come.”
For full details of all tram improvement works planned for this year, you’ll want to head to TfGM and the Bee Network website here.