Updated: Feb 13, 2021
At Thursday evening's (January 14th) Hillingdon Council meeting, the Conservative group voted down an RSPCA backed motion which sought to mitigate the impact fireworks have on pets and older people in the borough.
The motion, brought by Labour Cllr Kuldeep Lakhmana, comes in response to her party group receiving an unprecedented number of complaints from residents about fireworks going off late at night, nearly every night.
The RSPCA highlight that around around 62% dogs, 55% of horses, and 54% of cats show signs of distress during fireworks. Many birds also show signs of distress, with some even abandoning their nests due to the noise.
Cllr Lakhmana's motion called on the Council to promote a public awareness campaign on the effects of fireworks on vulnerable people and animal welfare, and to encourage local shops that sell fireworks to stock 'quieter' variants.
To enable pet owners to take precautions with their pets, the motion also called upon the Council to investigate ways all public fireworks displays in Hillingdon could be advertised in advance.
Despite passionate speeches from the Labour Group, the Conservative group opposed the motion calling it 'unnecessary'.
Stating his group's opposition to the motion, the new Conservative Cabinet member for Public Health and Safety, Cllr John Riley commented:
“We do it right here in this borough Madam Mayor, and on firework safety and every other aspect of our responsibilities, we put our residents first, whether they have two legs or four, and we will continue to meet those high standards with due regard to everyone”
Speaking on behalf of the Labour Group following the meeting, Cllr Kuldeep Lakhmana said:
"I submitted this motion as I have received a number of complaints for residents, and the role of Councillors is to listen to and raise the concerns of residents.
"Yet the Conservatives decided this was not necessary and voted down the motion despite it being very clear to anyone who lives in Hillingdon that the situation is getting out of control with fireworks being let off all night, every night."
The full motion from Cllr Lakhmana can be found here.