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Agenda item

Notice of Motion

This item is to receive any Notices of Motion. 

 

During the pre-election period, it is necessary to restrict the subject of Notices of Motion.  The attached Notice of Motion has been cleared as non-political and therefore acceptable by the Statutory Officers.

Decision:

That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Rosetta Dolphin be supported.

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of the item, Councillor Attridge sought clarification on the rules around debate in the pre-election period.  He said that a Notice of Motion had been submitted by his group a couple of months previous but it had been put on hold due to the nature of the topic being Betsi Cadwaladar University Heath Board (BCUHB) and it being of a political nature in the middle of a national election campaign.  He asked if the same rules applied to Welsh Government (WG) as they had debated BCUHB on a number of occasions recently.  He also said other Councils in Wales also appeared to debate political issues.

 

The Chief Executive explained that the advice given to Members had been sound and the legal restrictions specific to local government were enshrined in local government legislation.  Welsh Government (WG) was a sitting government with a different set of restrictions and it was allowed to carry on its normal business.  The Notice of Motion being referred to was not included as it touched on areas that were major areas of manifesto commitments in the NHS. 

 

He added that he had raised in Wales that good practice sharing would be beneficial as people did make different judgements but ultimately, the advice given to Members was done so to protect them.   Discussions were underway with BCUHB to ask them to attend a meeting of Social and Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee in January and this had been instigated because of the delay in the debate on the Notice of Motion, for the reasons explained.

 

            Councillor Heesom thanked the Chief Executive for the advice and passed on his thanks to officers for the way in which a winter election was being managed.

 

Councillor Rosetta Dolphin spoke in support of her Notice of Motion, which was:

 

“This Council resolves:

 

To require all public firework displays within Flintshire to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people.

 

To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people.  Including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.

 

To write to Welsh Government (WG) urging them to utilise any powers at their disposal to mitigate any negative impacts on the hosting of fireworks displays on animals and vulnerable people.

 

To encourage local displays to use quiet fireworks for public displays, Ban the Bang”.

 

            She said the Notice of Motion was brought in conjunction with the RSPCA and their national campaign.  There had been an increase of over 12% in calls around Bonfire Night and it was believed that tightening restrictions on the sale of fireworks in the run up to 5th November would help significantly.  New Zealand only sold fireworks a week before Bonfire Night.

 

            She would like to see a reduction in the maximum level of noise from 120 decibels to 90 decibels which would be consistent with the approach of other countries and would encourage manufacturers to design and produce quieter or silent fireworks.  A town in Italy had already moved to silent displays.

 

            She referred to an incident relating to a horse in her ward which had to be put to sleep the previous week following an occurrence with fireworks which had not been part of a display.  She also commented on the distress fireworks could cause to vulnerable people and the problems fireworks posed to them.

 

            Councillor Attridge seconded the Notice of Motion.

 

            Councillor Carver felt the Notice of Motion could go further as the displays that caused the most problems were private displays where very loud fireworks were set off, and they were not restricted to Bonfire Night and the weekends either side, and New Year’s Eve.  A by-law could be introduced so that fireworks could only be set off on specific days. 

 

            Councillor Attridge commented on the distress to pets and said this Notice of Motion was a start in addressing the problem.  If this did not see any improvements, a further Notice of Motion could be brought before Members.

 

            Councillor Richard Jones said it was illegal to set fireworks off in a public place or in a street, however it was legal to set off fireworks all year around in line with time restrictions and questioned whether a by-law could be implemented.

 

            Councillor Ellis said it should be on restricting the sale of fireworks to members of the public to use, and the way in which they were sold.  She commented on incidents in her ward where fireworks had been set off by the public, in the street.  The noise frightened local pensioners which was not acceptable. 

 

            The Deputy Monitoring Officer explained what could be achieved with bylaws was generally quite restrictive and if one was being sought, further specific advice would need to be given to Members.  However, as it stood, it was the Notice of Motion, as it was before Members, which was being considered.

 

            Councillor Kevin Hughes agreed with all that had been said but felt there was one thing missing, which was the word ‘education’ and said the public needed to be education via the most appropriate means on the proper use of fireworks.

 

            Councillor Owen Thomas said he represented three villages who had organised Bonfire Nights, all of which had the approval of the Community Council. They were well organised, advertised and sufficiently insured and he hoped that they would not be affected by today’s decision.

 

            Councillor Cunningham agreed with all of the comments but said it must be borne in mind that there were a lot of people who set off fireworks in a responsible manner and they should not be punished.  It was the irresponsible people who this needed to be directed to and he supported some form of control in the sale of fireworks.

 

            Councillor Hinds said the manufacturers needed to be targeted also.

 

            Councillor Rosetta Dolphin said her aim was for quieter fireworks, as it did not impede on the enjoyment of watching them.

 

            Members supported the Notice of Motion, as written, and on being put to the vote, was carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Notice of Motion from Councillor Rosetta Dolphin be supported.

Supporting documents:

 

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