The ban on setting off fireworks in central Hilversum during the New Year celebrations has been overturned in court.
The Lelystad court ruled Hilversum council’s executive committee was not properly qualified to make the decision. The court said that a ban on fireworks is a public order issue and that this should be a decision for the mayor only.
Two firework sellers in Hilversum had taken the council to court arguing that city officials had been too late and too vague in announcing their plans.
They fear a sharp drop in trade and claim people think the ban is city-wide rather than just in the centre.
Mayor Pieter Broertjes, who supports the ban, said he was extremely disappointed in the ruling. ‘We deliberately opted to involve the entire executive to show that there was wide democratic support for the decision,’ he said. ‘We thought we were doing the right thing.’
Broertjes said he did not plan to invoke his emergency powers to impose the ban anyway. ‘I want the support of the entire council,’ he said. Nor was there enough time to go through the procedures, he said.
It is not clear if the court ruling has implications for other cities where partial fireworks bans have been imposed.
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