Monday, 20 July 2015

PRESS RELEASE - Green Party Action on Flying Lanterns.

Green Cllrs Robert Barraclough  & Andrew Cooper, Farm Manager Ian Smart and Cllr Karen Allison
Green Party Councillors are calling for a ban on the release of Flying Lanterns from Kirklees Council land and are encouraging the Council to urge other large land owners in the area to do the same. A Green Party motion to Kirklees Council on July 29th will call for a ban and for signage to be placed at the entrances to Parks and sites such as Castle Hill.

Cows on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Stirley Farm, near Newsome, have had to be destroyed due to metal from flying lanterns contaminating their feed. Lanterns are known to have been set off from Castle Hill and have been chopped up into small pieces when grass in farm fields is mowed for animal feed. Once in bales these small pieces of metal are almost impossible to detect but do terrible damage and pain to animals as the metal tears through their internal organs.

 Green Party Leader Councillor Andrew Cooper said,

 “This call for a ban is aimed at raising peoples’ awareness of the consequences of setting these lanterns off and the consequences it has for cows, sheep and horses on local farms. Many people simply do not understand that these lanterns are dangerous and damaging.

 Kirkburton Green Party Councillor Robert Barraclough who himself is a farmer and formerly owned a dairy herd for 30 years said.

“This is not just about litter in our environment it is about animal welfare and educating the public about the dangers posed by these lanterns. There is also the very real danger of fire risk to land and property particularly during long periods of particularly dry weather.

This problem not only affects livestock farmers but also the thriving Equestrian population in our area as horses also are fed on fodder which can be contaminated with the lanterns.

Organisations such as the National Farmers Union and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are backing calls for a ban on these lanterns

The Green Party motion will be proposed by Cllr Robert Barraclough at the Kirklees Full Council meeting on Wednesday 29th July


Green Party and Valley Independent Group Motion on Flying Lanterns

 That the Council recommends that the Cabinet considers the potential risks   associated with sky lanterns (known as Chinese lanterns)  including those relating to health & safety ; fire risk , animal welfare and impact on the environment including litter and referred to in the Trading standards Institute code of Practice  for sky lanterns  and  if it accepts the potential threat and risks and subject to proper consideration of the cost implications

 1.            Where legally possible to take steps to ban the use and release of sky lanterns from council owned land following the statutory test in section 120 (1) (b)  LGA 1972 ; and encourage other landowners in Kirklees area to do likewise on their property ;

 2.            Place appropriate signage at prime locations for launching sky lanterns e.g. Castle Hill and Public Parks

 3.            Consider recommending that  full Council adopt byelaws for pleasure grounds, public walks and  public open spaces under section 164 Public Health Act 1875 and sections 12 , 15 of the Open Spaces Act 1906 which may contain a specific provision to regulate the release of sky lanterns  (subject to confirmation by the secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ) ;

 4.            Request Licensing committee to consider the scope to which Licensing legislation may be used to mitigate the risk associated with sky lanterns;

 5.            Consider the provision of advice to discourage organisers of events from using sky lanterns due to the potential harm they may cause;

6.            Encourage West Yorkshire Trading Standards /West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to work with manufacturers , distributors and retailers in West Yorkshire to improve safety standards ;biodegradeability  of sky lantern products  and  urge them to sign up to the Trading Standards Institute  Industry Code of Practice –sky lanterns

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