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Action planned to reduce Bonfire Night accidents

Have an enjoyable Bonfire Night by staying 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 14 years and have significantly reduced the number of unauthorised bonfires.

Cleansing operations will focus upon the removal of flammable waste as quickly as possible. The partners want to continue reducing the number of problems even further, and are advising residents to take care of their wheeled bins, and store them, where possible in a secure location. The Council is encouraging residents to present their bins to be emptied prior to Bonfire Night so that there is minimal waste around. Residents will have to pay the cost of replacing any wheeled bins that are lost or damaged.

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. The Council has issued formal cautions in this regard in the past. 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 Monday 5 November 2018.

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)

Mark Winder, Station Manager for the West Lancashire Borough, said: “We are well prepared for Bonfire Night and enjoy an extremely productive relationship with our partner agencies. This enables us to implement our fire safety and fire prevention strategies to best effect.”

West Lancashire Police Partnerships Inspector, Chief Inspector Ian Jones, 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 between 9am and 5pm. Every effort will be made by Council staff to remove the bonfire if:

  • It is on Council-owned land that is not a designated site 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 on fire safety call the fire stations at Ormskirk on 01695 572223 or Skelmersdale on 01695 723853.

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