GUY Fawkes night in Oswestry will still go off with a bang after a move to introduce silent fireworks for the town’s display was rejected on Wednesday.
Councillors were asked to consider whether a long-term move to silent fireworks, first used for Christmas Live last year, should be undertaken for future Bonfire Night displays, sparking debate in the council chamber.
Councillor Les Maguire, from the Conservatives, was first to speak and while he acknowledged that loud fireworks can have an impact on pets and people, residents expect a good show.
He said: “Silent fireworks are good but a lot of people come to see and hear the fireworks.
“If we have a silent one then we’re only to go to make more people buy fireworks for home, which is dangerous.
“People want the loud bangs and lights that go with it.
“We do a good show and the noise is only located in one place in Oswestry if we do it.”
Cllr Mike Isherwood, from the Greens, agreed with Cllr Maguire.
He added: “I agree with Cllr Maguire – it is the official display of the town and while I know that the loud bangs upset people and pets, people are prepared for it on the one night.
“It’s fireworks at other times that causes problems.
“I would be against using silent fireworks.”
However, his Green Party colleague, Cllr Rosie Radford, called for an end to loud bang fireworks, citing other displays in the town such as Oswestry School, and called for a new approach to the evening, such as drones.
This led to Cllr Duncan Kerr, also Green, to put forward a motion to include a silent segment of the display on Saturday, November 5, and ask for public feedback on future use.
Cllr Mark Jones, who as mayor in 2021 oversaw the display’s triumphant return after Covid-19, asked whether partners Oswestry Borderland Rotary Club had been consulted over potential changes.
He said: “I like the big bangs and you can feel the shudder through your feet.
“We raised £9,000 last year which was great. We need to ask the Rotary if they agree with silent fireworks?”
Town clerk Arren Roberts confirmed it had and had indicated it was happy with whatever decision was taken by the council.
Cllr John Price added: “I can’t imagine a November 5 without a firework that bangs.
“It’s completely unheard of – it’s one night and everyone knows.
“Leave it alone, it’s tradition.”
Cllr Kerr’s alternative motion was rejected and councillors voted to keep traditional fireworks.