Firework precautions could be introduced in Portsmouth to reduce the risk to animals and vulnerable people

REVELLERS in Portsmouth could have to be more considerate with fireworks as fears have been raised over the effect on animals and vulnerable people.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:00 am
Fireworks over the war memorial. Picture: Keith Woodland (080619-192)

At a full council meeting next week city councillors will be asked to consider imposing a set of precautions to minimise the risks around firework displays.

These include requiring all public displays to be advertised in advance, encouraging local suppliers to stock 'quieter' fireworks and writing to the government about limiting the noise levels on fireworks sold to the public.

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Councillor Graham Heaney, who represents St Jude ward in Southsea, will propose the ideas. 'It is quite a modest proposal but it's something as a councillor I have received many emails about,' he said.

'We know that fireworks do scare some people and animals.

'Obviously we know about a lot of the big events in advance but if people can also just let their neighbours know in advance it will give them a chance to keep their pets inside the house.'

Cllr Heaney will also ask councillors to promote a public awareness campaign, based on the RSPCA's bang out of order project.

Portsmouth resident Lee Davies, who has a 10-year-old border terrier, believed change was needed. He said: 'My dog Maggie is absolutely terrified of fireworks and becomes a nervous wreck as soon as they start.

'Seeing Maggie in such a state is distressing for the whole family and we feel it's unfair that she has to suffer like this every year. '

Fireworks are also a concern for Barry Bartlett, the owner of Abbey Farms in Fareham. He said: 'I know there are a lot in the area where the horses aren't used to it and it freaks them out.

'The horses get worried and upset and, more dramatically, it can cause them to have heart attacks.'

Although any Portsmouth City Council policy won't affect Fareham, he agreed change would be useful.

'My opinion is it's better to have individual, well advertised events rather than just anyone being allowed to do it,' he said.

'If they give two weeks notice it gives people with animals the chance to prepare.'

The proposals will be discussed on Tuesday, January 14.