A COUNCILLOR says that until people read about people being prosecuted for anti-social firework use, the issue is unlikely to calm down.

At a meeting on Thursday night Bradford Councillors discussed the findings of a review into firework use in the District.

The review had been carried out by the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, who met with police, fire fighters, the RSPCA, local businesses and residents who have been plagued by anti social firework use.

Although the review detailed some ways the issue could be tackled, it found that for any real change to be made locally, national laws regarding firework use needed to be changed.

Recommendations in the review include asking Bradford MPs to lobby Government for tougher laws around fireworks and looking at taking further action through the planning, licensing and environmental health systems to clamp down on businesses involved in anti social firework use.

At a meeting of the Committee on Thursday, Councillor David Green (Lab, Wibsey) said: “A lot of the action needed has to take place nationally. I hope that by contacting our MPs we can get some movement on that.”

He said there was recently an incident in his ward where fireworks were let off in the street during a party at a house, and added: “Police went round and had a word with him and they apologised.

“When we have that sort of evidence that someone has set off fireworks then we have to use the laws we’ve got and take the necessary legal action.

“Until we do that and it’s in the Telegraph & Argus that someone has been prosecuted, it will be hard to make people stop doing this. Once this happens hopefully the message would get through.

"I know this might be happening across the country, but I live in Bradford."

Current laws make tackling firework menace in Bradford an 'impossible task'

Councillor Vick Jenkins (Shipley, Independent Socialist) said: “The public have a feeling of helplessness around this issue.”

Councillor Sarfraz Nazir (Lab, Manningham) said: “I think we need to be realistic in terms of the message we’re sending. The message is we can’t do a lot at the moment.”

He said police had told him that they did not have the resources to “chase people they have no chance of finding.”

He added: “By the time someone has reported it and police turn up the people who set them off will have scarpered.”

Cllr Green replied: “If there is evidence of who it is I think police have to try. I’m not saying they go out with blues and twos whenever a rocket goes off, but if there are witnesses and statements I think they need to look at it.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) said society needed to move away from the idea that setting off fireworks was a socially acceptable thing.

She has previously called for Guy Fawkes Night celebrations to be phased out, and praised plans by Bradford Council to run a District wide festival of light on November 5 and 6 this year.

Cllr Sunderland said: “I’d encourage everyone to attend this rather than spend hundreds of pounds burning something that will harm the environment.

“We need a cultural change to say fireworks are now passée. A lot of it is just about a show of wealth. I don’t understand why someone will spend £30,000 on a wedding and another few thousand pound burning money.

"Lets consign the idea of setting off fireworks to history." She said the act of anti social firework use should be made as taboo as drink driving.

As well as voting for the recommendations in the review, the committee will also ask Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe to write to all wedding venues in the District reminding them of their obligations to stick to the law and be good neighbours.