Calverley & Farsley councillor questions ‘anti-social’ firework displays

2 December 2019

A senior Leeds politician has called on Leeds City Council to investigate the “anti-social use” of fireworks in the city, writes Local Democracy Reporter Richard Beecham.

Leader of the council’s Conservative group Coun Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) suggests “large firework displays” are now taking place “all year round” in parts of the city, often in the early hours of the morning.

In a letter to the authority’s environment scrutiny board, Coun Carter claimed the noise was disturbing people’s sleep while compromising the safety of individuals.

The letter, which was co-signed by Coun Carter’s Conservative colleague Matthew Robinson, read:

“Fireworks play an important part in celebrations when used and enjoyed responsibly.

“However, you will be aware that a growing number of local residents have expressed concerns about large firework displays that now appear to be taking place all year round, often in the early hours of the morning, with the noise causing disturbance to people’s sleep, and having a harmful impact on pets.

“There are also reports of fireworks being used anti-socially in a way that poses a considerable risk to the safety of the emergency services and the general public.”

The letter, which was sent to the board’s chairman Coun Barry Anderson (Con) on November 8, continued:

“You will be aware of the disruption in Harehills this week which whilst isolated serves to highlight the seriousness of this issue.

“We believe that the time is now right to investigate in detail the use of fireworks in our communities, focusing on low level criminality, anti-social behaviour, and noise nuisance, in order to develop a better multi-agency approach for 2020.”

A report following the letter from Leeds City Council officers read: “A referral to this scrutiny board has been made by councillors Carter and Robinson.

“An invitation has been extended to Coun Robinson as the main referrer of this request and also to the relevant director and executive board member to contribute to the board’s initial discussion surrounding the matter raised as part of this request.

“The board will then be asked to determine what, if any, further scrutiny activity is required.”

The scrutiny board will meet on Tuesday, December 3 to discuss the request.

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