Anger over unauthorised bonfires
November 9, 2018
Town councillors have condemned the thoughtless lighting of unauthorised bonfires around the town this week.
Large fires were alight on Monday night at Beaconhill, Allensgreen and Eastfield. The fires were arranged without permission and with inadequate supervision and left the Council with the job of clearing debris and making good damage done to grassed areas. In total there were 30 fires recorded on public land. There was clear evidence that hazardous waste was being burned.
The Council spends over £300,000 a year on maintaining green spaces and councillors were dismayed at the total lack of respect for the local environment by people intent on setting bonfires. In one instance people were actively encouraged to bring materials to burn through Facebook. The Police have been asked to investigate this matter. Local residents who were concerned about the fires have also reported that they felt too intimidated to complain.
Bob Baker, the Clerk to Cramlington Town Council commented that:
“ it is illegal to set bonfires on publically owned land. On Monday staff were dismantling unauthorised bonfires but many re-appeared on Monday night. Dumping rubbish for burning constitutes fly-tipping and we shall be collecting evidence from CCTV and other sources to take action against anyone responsible. Fines can be up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment.
I despair at the actions of a minority of people who have no respect for their town or their neighbours.
We will be working with the Police and County Council to identify ways of clamping down on unauthorised fires in future”
Pictured: Councillors Christine and Norman Dunbar at the site of one of the fires in Eastfield.