Agenda item

To receive the report of the Head of Paid Service

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Torridge District Council prohibit any further firework displays close to Bideford Long Bridge ie East-the-Water Wharves, and that Pollyfield Centre, a barge and the new Bridge be considered as alternatives.

Minutes:

Councillor C Bright declared a personal interest – involved with the Gt Torrington Cavaliers.

 

 

The Head of Paid Service presented the report, the purpose of which was for Members to consider the Petition and to make recommendations on how to proceed. 

 

Councillors were advised that as this is a matter that covered both Councils, the Head of Paid Service had been in contact with the Bideford Town Clerk. 

 

Councillor Christie, who is also a Town Councillor, updated the Committee on the alternative options to the present arrangements evaluated by the Town Council.   A display of silent fireworks that had taken place at Westward Ho! proved to be uninspiring, not particularly quiet and there had also been an issue with height.

 

The Town Council had then considered the following alternative locations for the fireworks:

 

·         A river barge moving down stream

·         The new Bridge was suggested due to the height issue with silent fireworks.     Councillor Christie had emailed Mr Julian Rosskilly, Highways Officer at Devon County Council who had responded saying no to this option.

 

Councillor Christie asked that this Committee write to Councillor John Hart, Leader at Devon County Council, seeking clarification as to why this option had been refused.  

 

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Christie that the first remedial action on the Petition be accepted, namely –

 

“That the Council put policies in place to prohibit any further firework displays close to Bideford Long Bridge (too close is anything that causes the starlings to be disturbed from their roost by such displays)”.

 

It became evident during the ensuing discussions that there was a need for compromise, and although supportive of retaining the fireworks, displays must take place on an alternative location away from the Bideford Long Bridge.  

 

The points raised included:

 

·         Pollyfield Centre to be included as an alternative location.   This was a location also suggested by the Petition Organiser.

 

·         To close the new Bridge and to keep Bideford Long Bridge open for emergency vehicles

 

·         Members of the public would expect to see the fireworks 

 

·         Signatures on the petition – very few were residents of Torridge. 

 

·         Wording on petition too ambiguous – no clarity on what is considered “too close”.

 

During the discussions the Senior Solicitor clarified to the Committee they are only considering events on Council land and not on private land.

 

The Environmental Health & Community Safety Manager advised on the legislation with regard to the noise levels of fireworks, and stated it would be difficult to enforce any restrictions made.

 

Following a discussion on what is considered to be “too close” to the bridge, it was agreed that an amendment to the proposal be included excluding firework displays taking place on East-the-Water Wharves.  Also to delete the following wording from the proposal “too close is anything that causes the starlings to be disturbed from their roost by such displays”.  

 

Councillor Brenton who proposed the motion and Councillor Christie who seconded the motion agreed that the amendment as stated above be included.   It was therefore -

 

Resolved:

 

That Torridge District Council prohibit any further firework displays close to Bideford Long Bridge ie East-the-Water Wharves, and that Pollyfield Centre, a barge and the new Bridge be considered as alternatives.

 

(Vote:  For 10, Against 1, Abstentions 1)

Supporting documents: