West Lancashire’s Community Safety Partnership was very pleased with all the successful work it was able to do around the Bonfire period.
Historically in West Lancashire the bonfire period meant that both Lancashire Fire and Rescue and Lancashire Constabulary dealt with large numbers of incidents. Anti-social behaviour, injuries and localised fires were extremely common and this prompted the Community Safety Partnership to run annual activities aimed at reducing the impact on residents.
A lot of work goes into planning the events, which encourage young people to take part on positive activities during the bonfire period. Each year the Go4It event runs at Skelmersdale Fire Station. This year young people could show off their football skills in the penalty shootout and beat the goalie games. They could also test their nerve on a simulator game of the television show Wipe Out, and have a go at the fun inflatable boxing. There were also two funfair stalls, and face-painting and nail art organised by Lancashire County Council's Wellbeing, Prevention and Early Help Service, who had staff members supporting the event. Around 200 young people attended the events over the two nights and all the activities were extremely popular. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has reported that they had low numbers of call-outs each night and the police have also agreed that the number of incidents was low, with excellent feedback from the community.
The Community Safety and Environmental Enforcement did a lot of proactive work in the build-up to the bonfire period removing over 100 tons of rubbish and combustible materials. The Council also had staff out removing bonfires from unauthorised sites before Bonfire night and also the day after. They have also continued to remove bonfire waste as part of their normal routine.
Cllr Kevin Wright, Portfolio Holder for Health and Community Safety said “I am extremely pleased with the success of these events as they show what excellent value for money the Community Safety Partnership provides with the Council and other services working together. Reducing the numbers of incidents partner agencies have to deal with is a key objective for this initiative. At the same time it looks like a large number of local people enjoyed themselves safely.”
Dave Tilleray, Chairman of West Lancashire Borough Council Community Safety Partnership, said: “The Partnership has worked extremely well to ensure that local people were safe on Bonfire Night. We will continue to work together in future years to protect local people.”
Sgt Andrew Bramhall, of Skelmersdale Police, said: “The Community Safety Partnership is an invaluable service and the proactive work of members helped to reduce the number of emergency incidents during Bonfire Night.
“Working alongside other agencies, both events proved very popular and successful. We look forward to continuing to support the partnership in the future.”
Matthew Hamer, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service station manager for West Lancashire, said: “Working with our community safety partners has proved a great success in ensuring Bonfire Night passed peacefully.”