‘Elvis’ to send the year off with a bang as councils axe fireworks

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The “Yorkshire Elvis” will be taking his place among millions of revellers who head into town and city centres across the UK for New Year’s Eve celebrations this evening.

Elvis impersonator Eddie Vee will be crooning for the crowds outside York Minster tonight – one of the many locations where people traditionally head in their droves to hear the bells ring in the new year.

But fireworks displays which have traditionally lit up city centres around Yorkshire in years gone by will not be taking place, with council budgets suffering under the ongoing public spending squeeze.

For a major pyrotechnic show, up to 250,000 people will instead head to the capital. The London Eye will be the focal point for a firework extravaganza which Mayor Boris Johnson said would be a fitting way to mark the start of an “extraordinary” year for the city.

There will be some 12,000 fireworks launched during the display, triggered by Big Ben’s chimes and lasting 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, police warned revellers to leave their vehicles at home if they plan to enjoy a celebratory drink tonight.

North Yorkshire Police traffic sergeant Pete Stringer said: “It still amazes me that people are willing to take huge risks with their life and the lives of other people by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking or taking drugs.

“It is simply not worth it.”

Sgt Stringer also reminded drivers that alcohol can remain in the system for up to 24 hours.

“We will be out in force this weekend, so have a great time whatever you are doing – but please stay safe and do not take any risks,” he said.