Firework debate reaches fever pitch

Smalltown Seafront Festival of Bangs and Pops

Smalltown and Dullbridge Town Councillors on the Town Unimprovements Committee wasted several long minutes of their Monday night meeting discussing whether or not fireworks are a good thing.

The SaDTC Festival of Bangs and Pops is held on Smalltown seafront on the night preceding Carnivoo and costs in the region of £9400.

However Deputy Headmistress and Fun Police Officer Patsy Knickers raised concerns about the negative impact fireworks can have on residents and whether or not a single night of Town Council sponsored fun should be allowed, especially during a Cost of Living We Are All Going to Die Crisis.

Not wanting to put a total blackout on fun at this stage Cllr Knickers told her fellow Councillors “I have been investigating the possibility of a drone show to see if that could be a possible alternative. Easton-under-Water held several drone shows last Autumn as part of their Dig for Oil show.

They were amazing. However, their show used around 100 drones. We would only be able to afford 20. Of course, the high cost was no problem for Easton-under-Water because they have a £2 million budget for events and projects. I am not convinced that it would be right for this Town Council to do the same.”

SomersetClive is unsure where Cllr. Knickers gets her facts and figures from – Easton-under-Water Town Council do have a £2 million budget – but that is to pay for ALL services provided by the Town Council and not just events within the town, Not Somerset District Council (NSDC) rely heavily on business support for any events held in the area – indeed their budget for 23/24 makes mention of the hope that all events will become cost neutral or require minimal financial support and, finally, the drone shows mentioned by Cllr Knickers was paid for by the company behind the Dig for Oil endeavour and therefore didn’t cost Easton-under-Water anything at all.

Cllr Jock McCads tried to cut the discussion short at this point saying “Great. Fine. So we leave things as they are. Shall we vote on that proposal?”

However Captain Rum interrupted proceedings saying “I agree with Cllr Knickers. Lots of people feel it is a waste of money. Should we really be wasting money on this when we could be spending the same sum to keep the White Elephant Enclosure open for two weeks?

Cllr Knickers then spoke at length about the safety of organised firework displays compared to individuals setting off their own fireworks, the effect of fireworks on the environment and the need to offset the carbon footprint especially with regard to people travelling to Smalltown Seafront in cars. She concluded by saying “All-in-all I am unable to decide if fireworks are a good thing or not.”

Smalltown New Administration Guru (SNAG) Katie Global told councillors that the company who have the current contract for the firework display would be willing to extend it for a further year without increasing prices.

A visibly bored Squire Teflon said “I think we should go for that for this year and look at this again for 2024. Can we take a vote on this now, I have Mistress Bones waiting for me at home.

Cllr Jock McCads then queried whether the council should ask about the prospect of silent fireworks. Cllr Catty Scaring agreed “As a cat owner and someone who knows lots of people with cats, I know the impact that fireworks can have on innocent cats. Won’t somebody please think of the cats?”

After several more minutes of debate, during which three councillors and four members of the public looked to have lost the will to live, councillors agreed to an extension of the existing contract and to talk and think about the subject some more before searching for an alternative.

SomersetClive will be suggesting that if they are keen on a drone show for 2024 then the simplest and cheapest alternative would be to line up all the councillors on Smalltown Seafront and let them talk for a few hours.

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