Council debates 'lasers' and 'quiet fireworks' to prevent harm to animals
PUBLISHED: 16:50 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:41 21 January 2020
Councillors have again debated the use of "quiet alternatives" to fireworks in a bid to stop causing distress and harm to vulnerable people, pets and wildlife.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) debated encouraging the use of "quieter fireworks" during public displays in the district at a full council meeting in December.
But suggestions of a rethink of the noisier displays were derailed by councillors who instead agreed to discuss the issue at a licensing committee meeting.
And at the licensing meeting, held on Monday, January 20, the committee again discussed the issue of harm caused to wildlife, pets and vulnerable people by noisy fireworks displays.
John Rest, leader of the NNDC independent group, said: "My motion wasn't to get licences out to everybody who wants to organise a fireworks display.
"What I was asking for was for all public firework displays to be advertised.
"This will allow people to take caution for their animals and vulnerable people.
"It's pretty obvious that November 5 and January 1 are firework events [but] I think people should be encouraged to give plenty of advertising notice.
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"We can look after our own animals and take precautions provided they let us know.
"We're asking to promote a public awareness campaign. This is what a local authority should be doing."
And Mr Rest added: "There are other alternatives.
"There are laser displays and there are quiet fireworks."
Council licensing officer Lara Clare said: "Fireworks are not a licensable activity.
"We would speak to the organisers of an event like the Cromer New Year's Day fireworks because of the amount of people."
But she said while the sale of fireworks was a licensable activity, the council would not be able to monitor people setting them off for private use across the district.
She added: "We don't know how we would ask people to advertise, for example, that they're getting married at a village hall and setting fireworks off at 11pm."
Liberal Democrat councillor for Cromer Andreas Yiasimi, who told the committee he helped to organise the town's New Year fireworks display, added: "There were no end of people taking their dogs for a walk and complaining."
But he said he would highlight concerns to organisers and suggest the use of quiet fireworks.