Clause 16 - Parliamentary procedure for regulations

Part of Fireworks Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 30 Ebrill 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry 4:15, 30 Ebrill 2003

There is a procedure under clause 2 for emergency regulations to be made if there is an urgent need to protect the public. I assume that that is the power to which my hon. Friend refers. Those regulations would remain in force for no longer than 12 months. We can consider whether certain areas could be addressed under such emergency provisions, but we must bear in mind that we need also to allow people time to adjust and to make the right arrangements. We must therefore think carefully about what is sensibly covered under emergency legislation. I would like more time to reflect on the detail and, indeed, to discuss the matter with my hon. Friend subsequent to this afternoon's sitting.

The hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire mentioned the need for byelaws. It is a national problem and it will need a national solution. However, some consideration is being given by my right hon. and hon. Friends in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to using the provisions of the Noise Act 1996, to ascertain what scope local authorities have to use the powers of that Act.

Byelaws could lead to consumers crossing the county, city or borough border to buy fireworks in an area that has no or different requirements. That is what I was saying to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dudley, North on the question of cultural diversity and licensing arrangements. Obviously in a small, fairly compact country such as this, and with modern travel, people can easily move from one area

to the next. We have to recognise the practical realities of all that in what we are doing. The Bill does not have provision for byelaws and it is important to recognise that.