Is it any wonder some of our children are ignorant of tradition in this country?

The people at City of York Council should hang their heads in shame over their decision not to hold a public display of any kind in the very city where Guy Fawkes came from.

We pay our council taxes and what exactly do we get? A big fat nothing.

They bang on about cost, health and safety, etc, but would never dream of asking the paying public what we think. Heaven forbid that they might hear something they don't want to.

It would soon shock them into action if a large number of people refused to pay their council tax on the grounds that we are getting absolutely nothing for it.

I, for one, am seriously thinking of doing just that, as are a large number of other people I have spoken to recently.

Predictably, they will threaten us with court, which is the coward's way out, as they know we have no comeback How refreshing it would be if they actually listened for a change. We must be a laughing stock.

M Morley, Nunmill Street, York.

  • It is known that small bonfire and firework parties are more dangerous than bigger, better organised ones.

So I bet that this year will see the biggest casualty rate, because there's no council display, no football club event and the Heslington bonfire and fireworks aren't happening.

And the reason that these big, well-organised events aren't on... health and safety.

Gill Cossham, Hull Road, York.

  • Fireworks that fill the night sky with dazzling explosions of colour and noise may excite us, but they terrify animals.

Domestic animals like cats and dogs are reduced to fearful, shivering wrecks, while sheep have been known to spontaneously abort because of the stress.

However, there are steps that we can take to minimise their suffering.

First, think about your own and your neighbours' animals and go to an organised display rather than letting off fireworks in your own back garden.

One central display will scare fewer animals and is likely to be set away from homes and their animal inhabitants.

Keep cats and dogs indoors from the afternoon onwards and bring rabbits and guinea pigs inside as well (or at least cover their hutch with a thick blanket to muffle the noise).

Finally, check that hedgehogs and other wild animals have not made a home in your bonfire before you light it.

For further advice on keeping animals safe on Bonfire Night, visit Kate Fowler-Reeves, Head of campaigns, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent.

A City of York Council spokeswoman, said: "The council stopped putting on a civic bonfire event in York in 1996, after a public consultation showed that the majority of residents thought it was a waste of money.

"Unfortunately the cost of holding a large-scale display is extremely high - in the region of £100,000 - and the cost of the fireworks is always the smaller element for large, traditional style displays. A considerable amount of money is also needed to address the health and safety measures of having large numbers of people in close proximity to the fireworks.

"Decisions about what the council spends money on are taken as part of the annual budget setting process, with the next one being held in February 2008.

"Councillors will have to consider the relative priorities of the hundreds of funding pressures that the council faces, and decide which services they believe are the most important from approximately 150 different ones, including education, home care for the elderly, parks, roads, refuse collections, trading standards and housing.

"Council tax in York is the 14th lowest in the whole country and, at the present level, simply can't fund everything that everyone would like."