Conservatives Reject Supporting RSPCA Firework Campaign

Last night, I proposed a motion with Cllr Chris Stanley, which in part, asked the Council to support the #bangoutoforder campaign set up by the RSPCA. It was very disappointing for us and residents, that Conservative Councillors voted to simply 'note' the campaign and were not prepared to take positive action to support the campaign. I'm sure many pet owners will be appalled by the lack of compassion shown for our furry friends.

Not only did the motion seek to give pet owners action over their concerns (many whom email us throughout the fireworks period) but also support residents who have autism, PTSD and anxiety issues.

Another dreadful decision for the community by the Conservative administration.

Proposed by Cllr J E Newport and seconded by Cllr C M Stanley:-

‘Fireworks are used by people throughout the year to mark various events like Bonfire Night, Diwali and various New Year celebrations. Great public displays, such as the annual Rayleigh Lions display at King George's Park, bring much enjoyment to many people. However, rising amounts of private displays and irresponsible use have led to many residents contacting Councilors in support of an RSPCA public awareness campaign aimed at ensuring people can enjoy fireworks responsibly whilst minimising the risk to animal welfare, horses, farm animals, wildlife and residents.

This Council notes that:-

Fireworks can be legally used on any day between the hours of 7am and 11pm, with extensions in place until on Bon Fire Night, New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year. There are four categories of fireworks in the UK; the first three categories areavailable to buy, carry, or use (on private property) to any member of the public aged18 or over.Fireworks release smoke into the atmosphere, reducing air quality, as well as toxinssuch as lead and mercury in most instances.The unpredictable, loud, and high intensity that many fireworks make can cause fearand anxieties, especially within people, horses, and dogs.Used irresponsibly, fireworks can cause damage to property and do significant harm to people and animals. They also pose a fire risk.

NHS England state that over the 2018 bonfire night and the Hindu festival Diwali period, more than 35,000 people went to for advice on how to treat burns and scalds – a “significant jump."

  • This Council resolves to:Write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays
  • Write to local suppliers of fireworks to encourage them to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks forpublic display
  • Encourage large retailers to follow the lead of Sainsburys in withdrawing the sale of fireworks to the public, especially in convenience stores
  • Ensure all public firework displays within Rochford District to be advertised in advance of the event, with appropriate advertising for the size of the display, allowing residents to take precautions for people in their care and pets.
  • Actively promote the RSPCA's public awareness campaign about the impact offireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions thatcan be taken to mitigate risks.’

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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