West Lancashire’s Community Safety Partnership (WLCSP) was very pleased with all the successful work it was able to do around the Halloween and Bonfire period.
Historically in West Lancashire the bonfire period meant that both Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Constabulary dealt with increased anti-social-behaviour and large numbers of injuries and localised fires. This prompted WLCSP to form the annual Bright Sparx Action Plan and run annual activities aimed at reducing the impact on residents. The 2017 plan has been a great success with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police reporting comparatively low call outs for this time of year, and there has been excellent feedback from the community.
A lot of work goes into planning the events, which encourage young people and families to take part in positive activities in the run up to and during the Halloween and bonfire period. Partners involved this year were West Lancashire Borough Council's Environmental Enforcement Team, Estate Management Team, and Street Scene Services, Lancashire Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Lancashire County Council's Wellbeing Prevention and Early Help Team, Trading Standards, Community Payback Team.
Key achievements of the 2017 Bright Sparx Action Plan include the delivery of six Community Action Days supervised by the Council's Environmental Enforcement Team with over 150 tonnes of waste removed, including combustible materials. Advice was given to the public on the safe storage of waste over the bonfire period. This activity was supported by the Community Payback Team giving offenders an opportunity to provide visible payback to their community.
Education packages on fire safety and responsible behaviour were delivered by Fire and Rescue personnel and Police to schools in West Lancashire. All key agencies visited different areas in the lead up to this period to ensure any materials that could be used to start fires or for criminal damage were removed. Street Scene Services were also out removing bonfires from unauthorised sites before Bonfire Night and continued to remove bonfire waste afterwards.
Neighbourhood Community Days were held at the Youth Zone and the Eavesdale Centre, offering support and advice to families 'in staying safe' over the Halloween and Bonfire period with over 200 people participating. The annual Go4IT Event at Skelmersdale Fire Station, were an incredible success with 550 people attending over the two nights, and all the activities were extremely popular.
Cllr Kevin Wright, Portfolio Holder for Health and Community Safety, said: “I am extremely pleased with the success of these events. Reducing the numbers of incidents partner agencies have to deal with is a key objective for this initiative. At the same time a large number of local people enjoyed themselves safely.”
Dave Tilleray, Chairman of West Lancashire Borough Council Community Safety Partnership, said: “The Partnership will continue to work together in future years to protect local people.”
Inspector Adrian Jolly, of West Lancashire Police, said: “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 and safely.”