Fireworks Safety Plans Put in Place for Castle Hill

As bonfire night once again approaches the problems associated with firework misuse become all the more apparent in particular for Huddersfield’s iconic landmark Castle Hill.

In view of this activity we, in partnership with Historic England and the police are looking at taking steps to help protect Castle Hill and people’s welfare around bonfire night.

What plans are to be put in place?

The Police are planning to patrol with a public order van to deter the use of fireworks in public spaces including Castle Hill on and around bonfire night.

There will be a Public Order under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 coming into force on 1st November 2018 which prohibits any person that may light a firework; or release a sky lantern or a helium filled balloon on all land owned by us, the National Trust and Yorkshire Water. Any person who fails to comply with a reasonable excuse may be issued with a fixed penalty notice not exceeding £75.00.

Fireworks etc collected 6th Nov 2017.jpg

Above: fireworks collected last year at Castle Hill

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member – Communities and Environment said:

“While we recognise that people wish to celebrate these dates but ask that the guidelines are adhered to, not only to protect people but also the significant environmental impact on the landscape.”

Julian Brown, Castle Hill Ranger commented,

“We thank those for heeding our warnings over the years not to light fireworks but sadly still 50 bin liners of fireworks and associated litter was collected in its immediate aftermath last year which is not acceptable.

It’s a wonder there have been no accidents up there or that we know of. Many onlookers think due to the number of fireworks that are let off on Castle Hill it has been a council event which I can assure everyone it isn’t”.

Why is this important?

Over the years we have asked people not to let off fireworks and had firework bans in place.  This is to help reduce wildlife disturbance, damage to the ancient monument and to help avoid injury to the public who irresponsibly let off fireworks in public open spaces including Castle Hill.

Setting off fireworks in public places is a criminal offence which prohibits throwing or setting off fireworks on any highway, street, thoroughfare or public place and is the responsibility of the police to tackle this type of anti-social behaviour. A public place is anywhere to which the public are entitled or permitted access and you can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use.

Julian adds

“All we are asking is for people to think again as fireworks can cause real upset and a better option is to go to an organised firework event which is a much safer option for everyone”.

It is an offence to light fireworks off during night hours (11pm to 7am), except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1am). It is also against the law to carry fireworks in public if you’re under 18.   Kirklees Council and the police will continue to work together in regards to firework misuse and can only stress the importance of being safe to enjoy fireworks on Bonfire Night.

For further information contact Julian Brown, Castle Hill Ranger, tel: 07870 570914, email:  julian.brown@kirklees.gov.uk<mailto:julian.brown@kirklees.gov.uk>

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