Peterlee firework display could be saved as councillors vote to look at staging popular event

A scene from the 2012 Peterlee fireworks display
A scene from the 2012 Peterlee fireworks display

PETERLEE’S fireworks display could be saved after councillors agreed to work with police and fire chiefs to try to come up with a solution to solve traffic problems.

The town council had pulled the plug on November 5’s annual celebrations at Helford Road, citing concerns over health and safety regarding congestion outside the site.

But a full town council meeting was held on August 18, where 10 Labour members voted to meet with the chief fire officer and others before making a decision.

Six FAIR and Independent members and one Labour councillor voted to re-instate the fireworks.

Town council leader, Councillor Bill Jeffrey, made no promises, but he said council chiefs are willing to look at the possibility of putting the event on.

He said: “We are going to work with the police, fire and other agencies and try to alleviate the wider health and safety risks of the access and egress from the site and parking and traffic management.

“If we get assurance that the health and safety is covered, I would say 99 per cent it goes ahead.”

Coun Jeffrey said the council has health and safety covered “110 per cent” in the display area, but not the surrounding area.

“We are asking other agencies to support us with the perimeter, bringing people in and out,” he added.

“I’m elected by the people and I know people still want the fireworks display.

“We know it takes a big risk with people having private displays, we can’t stop them all.

“From the 1970s, Peterlee Town Council have always had that aim. But things have changed, with more cars, and a lot of councils don’t have a free fireworks display.”

He said one suggestion would be asking people to walk to the event instead of driving.