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Don’t be daft – we don’t need to ban fireworks

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Some of your happiest memories when I was a child were at family or school fireworks displays. Freezing cold, eating jacket potatoes, sparklers in hands and ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ over the pretty explosions which lit up the inky, night sky.

Whether you called it Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, November 5 was one of the few times each year we got together with family and friends.

Now you are older, with a rescue dog, cat or a child who has always been sensitive to loud noises, you are less keen on the night.

Especially as it no longer lasts just one evening but fireworks can generally be heard from now until January. But an outright ban, or even allowing them only at official events is nonsense.

At the moment, thosands of people have signed a petition to ban fireworks in public – which means the government will have to respond.

I won’t call these people fun police or killjoys as some people have, I can see why they want to put restrictions on fireworks displays.

As they say themselves, they ’cause alarm, distress and anxiety to many people and animals’.

What is needed instead though is better education on the danger of fireworks, tougher penalties for those misusing them and police cracking down on those who flout the rules, particularly those who give/sell them to under 18s.

If organising a garden display, just be a considerate human being.

Make sure your neighbours are aware, perhaps even invite them over.

It’s easy to let people know – most of us are on social media and there are plenty of local noticeboards you can post on to let people know if you plan to let fireworks off for a lengthy amount of time.

If not, knock a few doors, particularly if you have elderly neighbours and those with children or pets.

Choose low noise or quiet fireworks (yes, they do exist) as well as follow safety advice and take precautions before setting them off.

And don’t be a git and let them off past 11pm.

If we all followed these general rules it would probably help a lot.

Banning things rarely has the desired effect and will only mean that a ‘black market’ will open up which will make it even more dangerous and fireworks more likely to fall into the hands of youngsters and those who would act irresponsibly.

People point to the environmental damage caused by fireworks – perhaps then a green tax should be introduced to pay towards offsetting the damage caused?

And there are plenty of things which are more dangerous and/or cause more environmental damage than fireworks such as cars, dairy farming – should we also ban them?

We all have to live with things which annoy or upset us but we can’t go around and ban everything that upsets someone.

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Reading west MP travels to 30 nations in 7 months but hasn’t isolated once

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The Reading West MP, President for COP26 (the next annual UN climate change conference) and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office Alok Sharma has travelled to 30 countries this year, including at least six on the red list, without having to isolate.

While many of you have spent time quarantine at expensive hotels set up by the government, Sharma, the MP for Reading West, has been given a ministerial exemption from hotel quarantine after every trip, while ordinary travellers face fines of £10,000 for such breaches.

This is one again and example of the “one rule for them” culture that members of the cabinet enjoy under PM Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Others have also questioned why at least some meetings couldn’t been done virtually – which would have also helped to reduce greenhouse emissions.

It seem to us that the double standards in a failing traffic light system poorly planned with little common sense has resulted in ministers not bothering to comply under a status justification.

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Reading Festival 2021: Who is headlining, when is it and where is it?

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The full line up for Reading and Leeds Festival has been announced.

We found out everything you need to know about the Reading’s biggest festival event in no just in our town but in all Berskshire.

When is it?
The Reading & Leeds music festival takes place at both sites over the August bank holiday weekend, from Friday August 27 to Sunday August 29

Campers with early pass entry can get into the site on Wed 22 Aug 2018, 18:00 to find the best spot to pitch up your tent.

Where is the Reading festival site?
The Reading site is in the centre of Reading and is held on Little John’s Farm, Richfield Avenue.
There will be shuttle buses available for festival-goers running from Reading train station to Richfield Avenue.

Who is headlining?
This year’s headliners are…

The six headliners are Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Other acts include big names such as AJ Tracey, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and Two Door Cinema Club.

Meanwhile fans can also look forward to performances from Ashnikko, DaBaby and Fever 333, Madison Beer, MK and 100 Gecs.

Where to buy tickets
I am afraid tickets for Reading 2021 are sold out.

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Battle Library Reopens next week!

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Battle Library reopens next week! The library is due to reopen next Tue 6 April, initially for 9 hours per week (Tuesday 1-5, Friday 10-12, Saturday 10-1).

Working in line with current national safety guidance, from 6 April, Battle Library will offer:

📚 Returns – to entrance when the library is open, book drop when closed.
📗 Order and collect (book online at https://www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/libraries-reopening/ or via 0118 937 5950) – you can order specific or a general collection of items
💻 Limited computer bookings (via 0118 937 5950)

Visitors to the library will be reminded to follow safety precautions, including the wearing of masks inside the building and for the use of computers, test and trace registration will be required.

They will look to continue the planned phase of reopening of wider library services where possible and with safety at the forefront of all our plans. The Library Service hopes to confirm the reopening details for its other branch libraries at Whitley, Southcote and Palmer Park shortly.

Book drops are currently available at Central, Caversham – and shortly at Battle library – and no fines are being charged.

The Library Service’s popular e-service continues to be available. Over the past year, we have had 2,623 people join the service and They’ve issued a staggering 65,000 eResources!

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