Clause 7 - Licensing of suppliers

Part of Fireworks Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:30 pm ar 30 Ebrill 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Llafur, Hamilton South 3:30, 30 Ebrill 2003

I wish to investigate licensing. I am concerned that local authorities and trading standards officers now grant permits at £13. I would hope that the intention behind the Bill is for someone who wishes to sell fireworks to apply to a local authority, which would supply a licence. At present a licence or permit that has been granted cannot be revoked or refused the following year even if there is a breach of the regulations in, say, the manner of storage. I want the Minister's assurance that local authorities will be given the powers to refuse, revoke or rescind a licence if any conditions are breached during the licensing period.

Because of the different cultures that we have in this country, I also want there to be the possibility of higher-tier licences. That would mean that any retailer who wanted to sell fireworks all year round would have to meet stringent conditions and pay a higher licence fee. If we do not do that, we will allow the current situation to continue: people will be able to get hold of fireworks without any just reason, thus continuing the growth in antisocial behaviour, so it is important to get the licensing system right through the local authorities.

I know that new regulations on the manufacture and storage of explosives, which are due to be introduced in 2004, may be a suitable vehicle for that, but local authorities will want the scope to grant a cheaper licence to people who want to sell for only a limited period of time during the year. That should be addressed.