East Suffolk Council to consider curbing firework displays on its land

The fireworks in Christchurch Park Picture: MARK LANGFORD

Concerns have been raised over the impacts of fireworks on animals, vulnerable adults and wildlife - Credit: Archant

Firework displays on council-owned land could become a thing of the past in a Suffolk district amid concerns over their impact on the environment - but members of the public will be able to have their say this summer before a decision is made.

East Suffolk Council is planning to launch a public consultation on whether firework displays should be held on land it owns, after concerns were raised by the authority's Environment Task Group over the effects rockets can have on vulnerable adults, animals and wildlife.

A date for the consultation has not yet been set, but is expected to be over the summer this year to help ascertain public views that will help inform a report to cabinet later on for a decision.

A small number of councils elsewhere in the country have launched similar conversations, but East Suffolk is the first in the county to plan a public consultation on the matter.

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment at East Suffolk Council

Cabinet member for the environment at east Suffolk Council, James Mallinder, said the consultation will allow a conversation about the impact of fireworks - Credit: East Suffolk Council

James Mallinder, Conservative cabinet member for the environment, said: “We want to begin a conversation about how making small changes can have a positive impact on our communities and our environment and so we will be asking people for their views on a proposal to no longer host fireworks displays on council-owned land.

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“Fireworks are seen by many as an enjoyable way to celebrate a significant occasion, however there are also downsides and we think it is important to give some consideration to this. They can cause considerable environmental damage and affect farm animals, horses, wildlife and pets. Vulnerable people can also find them very upsetting.

“To be clear, this is not about encouraging a wholescale ban on events of this kind, but acknowledging, as a council, that we can set an example and recognise our responsibility to consider the negative impact fireworks can have on people and animals. And this starts with the events that we permit on our own land.

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“This is all part of a wider vision to build the right environment for East Suffolk and enabling environmental sustainability across the district.

"As an example of this drive, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet has been discussing the adoption of a new air quality strategy in its continuous efforts to reduce air pollution and positively impact the life of our residents.”

Pardon the Weeds sign

East Suffolk Council's Pardon the Weeds campaign aims to encourage pollinators to thrive in areas left to re-wild - Credit: East Suffolk Council

The matter is just one of many being considered by the authority's Environment Task Group to improve biodiversity and reduce harmful emissions. 

Other work includes a partnership scheme to make Leiston net carbon zero, greater clarity for developers on reducing their environmental impact from construction, and assessments on whether to install solar panels on council buildings.

Other projects already well underway include sourcing electric vehicles for council use and the highly successful 'Pardon the Weeds' project where 100 locations will be left to re-wild and encourage pollinators.

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