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Monday, October 16, 2017

Action planned to reduce bonfire night accidents

Enjoy yourself on Bonfire Night but please stay safe is the message from West Lancashire Borough Council and its partners.

West Lancashire Borough Council, the Police and the Fire Service have action planned to help residents celebrate bonfire night safely without any problems of nuisance or dangerous behaviour.

The three partners have worked together over the last 13 years and have signifcantly reduced the number of unauthorised bonfires.

Cleansing operations have been improved, so any flammable rubbish can be cleared away quickly. The partners are aiming to cut the number of problems even further, and are advising residents to take extra care of their bins, boxes and bags, and where possible, secure them so others can’t use them and start fires with the waste material. The Council would also ask residents to present their bins to be emptied so that there is minimal waste around. Residents will have to pay the cost of replacing any wheeled bins damaged, and new bins cost £23 each.

The partners are also keen to enforce the message that fly-tipping is an offence, and it is important that all parties are additionally vigilant  in the run up to bonfire night in ensuring that waste is identified and removed. In 2013, the Council issued two formal cautions in this regard. Officers will be looking out for anyone using bonfire night as an excuse to dump waste and will not hesitate to take appropriate action. The maximum fine for fly-tipping materials is £50,000.

Councillor Kevin Wilkie, West Lancashire Borough Council portfolio holder for Street Scene, said: “We want to ensure this year’s bonfire night is just as safe and enjoyable as previous years. We work closely with partners to combat anti-social behaviour and to remove any bonfires that do not comply with the rules on council sites.”

In Skelmersdale, bonfires will only be allowed at eight specially designated sites owned by the Council. Bonfires can be built and lit from 4.30pm on Sunday 5 November 2017.

The sites are:

  • Abbeystead (on the right hand side on the grassed area)
  • Alderley (on the left hand side on the grass by the subway to Pimbo)
  • Bankfield (left hand side on the grass)
  • Evington (left hand side by the play area)
  • Eskbank (grassed area at the entrance)
  • Hallcroft Field (grassed area by the play area)
  • The Winsters (grassed area on right hand side)
  • Railway Road (grassed area to the rear of Woodrow)

Matt Hamer, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager for West Lancashire., said: “We are well prepared for Bonfire Night and enjoy an extremely productive relationship with our partner agencies, including West Lancashire Borough Council and Lancashire Constabulary. This enables us to implement our fire safety and fire prevention strategies to best effect."

West Lancashire Police Inspector Adrian Jolly added: “We will be working with other agencies to successfully tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on Bonfire Night and in the weeks leading up to it. We will deal robustly with anyone we find engaging in such behaviour.”

If residents have concerns about a bonfire before it is lit they should contact the Council on 01695 577177 during office hours. Every effort will be made by Council staff to remove the bonfire if: 

  • It is not on a designated site, but is on council-owned land or
  • It has been built outside the agreed dates and times or could be dangerous

If a bonfire has been lit outside the permitted times, is dangerous, or on private land, please dial 999 and ask for the police and fire service. For advice call the fire stations at Ormskirk on 01695 572223 or Skelmersdale on 01695 723853.


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