Liberal Democrats in Bradford have been focussed over the last few years on tackling the menace of fireworks. Liberal Democrat Councillors on Bradford Council have secured agreements to take a number of steps that should help to combat the anti-social use of fireworks.
In 2017 - Creating a joint task force with Council, Police, Trading Standards and local businesses to enforce existing rules on the sales and use of fireworks.
In 2018 - Establishing an enquiry into the misuse of fireworks across the district and make recommendations for new rules for the use of fireworks and the introduction of stronger enforcement powers.
In 2019 - Enacting a new by-law that will ensure that only lower noise fireworks are used in the district and seek to set up a number of low noise fireworks displays across the district for residents to enjoy.
It is disappointing that despite the ruling Labour Group in Bradford agreeing to and supporting these proposals very little action has been taken. We renew our calls for the leaders of Bradford Council to act on the motions they signed up to.
An enquiry into the use and misuse of fireworks
In April 2018, Councillor Brendan Stubbs (Eccleshill) asked the Council to conduct an investigation into the anti-social use of fireworks across the district. His motion was passed by the Council and the enquiry finally began early in 2020. It was tasked with:
● Looking at the licensing requirements and other regulations around firework.
● Exploring improved prevention and enforcement activities.
● Considering the sale and distribution of fireworks across Bradford.
● Examining the use of fireworks around Bonfire Night and at religious and family occasions.
● Scrutinising the inappropriate use of fireworks, including the impact upon residents, pets and other animal.
● Analysing the impact of the use of fireworks upon noise, air pollution, cleansing and emergency planning.
As yet, the Corporate Committee (who are conducting the enquiry) has no set date at the moment for concluding the enquiry. We are pressing them to get on with their enquiry and present any recommendations as soon as possible.
Low and no-noise fireworks
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat Group Leader called on Bradford Council to investigate the making of a by-law to restrict the use of noisy fireworks across the District and the creation of free quiet or low-noise firework displays in the District’s Parks. She said:
“It is clear from my casework and from public comments that people are fed up with the unexpected loud bangs and explosions of fireworks which are now almost a year-round event. For many people, Bonfire Night and other celebrations can be quite traumatic. However, it does not need to be like this. The manufacture of fireworks has progressed and it is now possible to hold displays and events of quieter fireworks which can create “quieter” displays, “low noise” displays or a “silent” displays which reduce the noise nuisance and impact on others in terms of acoustic stress. We believe it is time that the Council investigated how it can create public displays that are more peaceful that can be enjoyed by all.
“I have looked at the example of the people of Collecchio in the province of Parma in Italy who introduced legislation to reduce acoustic stress. This was particularly about animals but acoustic stress also impacts on some people with mental ill-health, people who are anxious about loud noises, people with a disability for whom loud noises can be extremely disturbing and people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are all similarly affected.
“I’m not against firework displays they are common throughout the world and provide a focal point for many religious and cultural celebrations. The 5th of November has huge significance in Britain’s culture and was a law up to the 19th century however for some people it has now become a dangerous noisy free for all that causes distress to many people. We think that Bradford should lead the way so that everyone can enjoy and celebrate our diverse cultures in a much quieter way and get rid of the anti-social behaviour, nuisance and distress that loud bangs cause.”
Time for the Government to step up too
Finally, while we have pushed hard for action in Bradford, the Government is currently against further legislation to control the sale and use of fireworks. It is clear that further campaigning is required if we are to reduce the suffering of animals and people who are particularly vulnerable to the loud noises associated with fireworks”.