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Call to limit firework nuisance voted down at Preston City Council meeting

Posted on - 15th December, 2020 - 11:39am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Preston City Council town hall. Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston City Council town hall. Pic: Tony Worrall

A call to see Prestonians discouraged from setting off fireworks after 10pm has been thrown out.

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The Sensible Approach to Fireworks Displays Notice of Motion was put forward to Preston City Council to encourage greater responsibility around the use of fireworks.

The motion was blocked after Labour voted against it on Thursday, 10 December.

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The motion was introduced by Councillor Neil Darby, Liberal Democrat deputy leader in Preston, after being contacted by a number of local residents expressing concerns over increasing incidents involving fireworks in the area.

The motion proposed that Preston City Council support a number of measures which would reduce the stress many pets suffer due to fireworks.

The proposal called on retailers to supply and highlight quieter fireworks, encourage the advertisement of local public displays, and discourage people from setting them off at home or after 10pm.

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Councillor Neil Derby, said: “I know many people who are affected by fireworks every year, and it seems to be an increasing problem.

“Not only does it affect pet owners, but many people with conditions such as PTSD can struggle at this time of year.

“Fireworks are a great way for people to celebrate and we just wanted to make it easier for everyone to take enjoyment from them.

“Knowing in advance when there are likely to be fireworks for example makes it much more manageable for those who may struggle, than if fireworks are going off at random over a period of months.

“I am disappointed that Labour made the political decision not to stand with local residents.”

What Labour had to say

Labour councillor and city council leader Matthew Brown told Blog Preston: “We want to achieve the sentiments in the notice of motion and as Council Leader I have already written to the Secretary of State in support of the demands behind the RSPCA campaign after a number of Labour Councillors raised the issue. 

“In local politics it is always better to underpromise and overdeliver and I wanted to first invite both opposition leaders to a meeting with LCC Trading Standards and others partners to explore how we could achieve some of the motions aims as the majority of responsibility for them lies with Lancashire County Council.  

“Other demands such as a 10pm cut off point aren’t legally enforceable and the use of the Sustainable Communities Act would be a potential vehicle for the council to lead a campaign with other authorities to petition the government to give councils powers to regulate fireworks in that way. 

“One of the fears I had with passing the motion is people in Preston would think we can do all of what it asks but sadly we can’t.  Working quietly but firmly to explore what we can achieve first is more sensible than getting hopes and expectations up.  

“The offer to the Lib Dem and Conservative Group to revisit the motion after the meeting with appropriate partners remains.”

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