Councillors in Crawley have backed RSPCA calls for a noise limit on fireworks, with one declaring them to be ‘more about the bang than the prettiness’.
A notice of motion was tabled at a meeting of the full council also asking for all public displays to be advertised to allow pet owners and vulnerable people to prepare for the inevitable explosions.
Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) said: “Most of us are animal lovers. The issue people have with their pets is often they’re not aware of when firework displays will be taking place near them.
“The first they know about it is their pet being disturbed or being upset and then of course it’s too late.”
Leader Peter Lamb said he had already written to the government about the problem, receiving a ‘non-committal response’ but would write again asking for legislation to be introduced limiting fireworks to 90 decibels.
That’s as loud as a lawnmower, a motorbike heard from 25ft away or a Boeing 737 flying one mile up.
Mr Crow said: “Clearly it’s not going to solve the problem overnight but it’s giving a steer from the council that we do share the concerns of those members of the public and those vulnerable people or those with pets who may be disturbed by fireworks.”
The days of fireworks only being launched on or around November 5 have long gone, with displays peppering the skies with pretty lights and resonating bangs during birthdays, new year and religious festivals such as Christmas and Diwali.
Some members felt fireworks should not be sold to the general public while others agreed quieter ones were needed.
Bob Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) felt they should only be sold to official displays.
He said: “As a dog walker I know the considerable stress and trauma so many dogs and their owners feel whenever there are firework displays.
“The trend over recent years has been for fireworks to be bigger, brighter and very much louder. I’ve heard many tales from dog owners of their beloved pets cowering in corners or hiding away under bedclothes while firework displays have been in progress.”
To chuckles from all sides, he added that not selling them to the public would cut down on the times they were let off and would stop the ‘idiot fringe’ from doing stupid things such as ‘inserting a firework in their backside and lighting it’.