Petition Only allow fireworks to be sold or supplied in Jersey for licensed displays

Every November fireworks are freely available, and are set off in the streets much to the serious distress of dogs and other family pets, there is equally a risk of personal injury and damage to property.

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Firework displays are enjoyed by thousands of people throughout the year during a variety of celebrations. There can be no real need or benefit in the use and sale of ‘domestic’ fireworks which in reality cause more distress and danger than they do enjoyment.

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Ministers responded

This response was given on 6 December 2018

It is intended to bring forward Regulations which would require public firework displays to be licenced by the relevant Connétable.

At present, the Parish Connétables provide licences for the retail of fireworks in accordance with Article 8 of the Explosives (Jersey) Law 1970.

The distress and anxiety that can be caused to family pets by fireworks is widely recognised and acknowledged. Many Islanders will be aware of this from their own experiences. It is also the case that any firework display will inevitably involve a degree of risk, although this can be mitigated if the display is organised and/or overseen by the relevant professionals. Advice in this regard can be found on the following page of the gov.je website:

https://www.gov.je/StayingSafe/FireSafety/Outdoors/Pages/FireworkDisplay.aspx

The Government accepts that further work needs to be undertaken to provide an enhanced statutory framework which includes provision for the licensing of certain fireworks displays and, as outlined below, consideration is ongoing in this regard.

There is, however, not an intention at present to only allow fireworks to be sold or supplied in Jersey for licensed displays. Such action, taken prima facie, would prevent individuals or families from undertaking small fireworks displays on their private property unless this was authorised by a licence. It has been clarified that such an outcome is not the intention of this petition.

Should the States Assembly agree to an amendment to the Explosives (Jersey) Law 2014 (and then agree to bring the full amended Law into force by an Appointed Day Act, to replace the 1970 Law), it is intended to bring forward Pyrotechnic Articles Regulations which would provide for some statutory controls over, for example, the supply, possession, and use of fireworks (including for different types of firework). It is also proposed that these Regulations would make the Parish Constable the licensing authority for public displays in their Parish. The organisers of a public display would be required to provide the Constable with specified information, including the categories of fireworks to be used and a written risk assessment and environmental impact statement, before a licence can be granted. It is anticipated that the Constable would liaise with the full Comité des Connétables as part of the licensing process, in order to ensure neighbouring Parishes are informed. It is hoped this process will assist in providing sufficient notice of public displays so that impacted households can make preparations with regard to their family pets.

By way of further example, the Regulations would prevent fireworks from being used at certain times (probably between 11pm and 7am) apart from on days (and then only at certain times on these days) specified by the Minister for Home Affairs, having consulted the Comité des Connétables. Such days would include Bonfire night, Chinese New Year and New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day.

The Regulations would not cover private displays, and detailed consideration will therefore need to be given as to the distinction between a public and private display.

Where an individual or group is organising a private display that wouldn’t require a licence from the Connétable, it is always recommended that they follow the advice provided in the link referenced above.

The Regulations would continue to provide for the Connétable to licence the supply and retail of fireworks.

In developing the Regulations, the Government will be consulting fully with relevant public bodies, businesses and individuals. Ample opportunity will be given for all interested parties to contribute to the proposals as they are developed, comment on them as they are finalised and request amendments if that is felt necessary.

It is anticipated and hoped that these Regulations will deliver an improvement to the current arrangements. They will not meet the expectations or wishes of everyone in our community – and this is a reality that must be accepted at the outset. Compromise will be required in all respects.

Connétable Len Norman
Minister for Home Affairs

At 5,000 signatures...

At 5,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in the States Assembly

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