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Bonfire blight

Posted on September 03 2014 at 1:49:43

Why is it that a small group of men in Cofton Hackett insist on having garden bonfires during some of the hottest days of the year?

This has been going on for several years now, and like others we have been reluctant to confront the issue so have turned a blind eye.

But having spent two sweltering days in a house with closed windows, instead of being able to enjoy the hot weather, it is now time to draw attention to the selfish acts of a few people who pollute our lives. 

The position of Bromsgrove Council is that it does permit burning of garden waste, and any problems created by this are dealt with as “nuisance” rather than an offence.

Persistent burning may lead to a fine of £5,000 for residential properties or £20,000 for businesses. In general we would support this position, and are not against the occasional burning of garden waste.

However, this policy infers that there is a basic level of common sense, which should be enough to assess that your actions will have a detrimental effect to people over a large area, and take appropriate steps, i.e. burn in appropriate weather conditions, at an appropriate time, and don’t leave it smouldering overnight.

We would like to draw attention to some examples where the pollutants of bonfire smoke can have a significant effect. These are just a few examples easy to find within a short distance of our home:

*  An elderly couple who need the support of walking sticks, and have to use a stairlift to get upstairs.

* A couple who have a child under two years old. The effects of smoke on the very young in relation to childhood asthma are well established.

* Many of us who return from a stressful day at work, and would like to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine.

Finally, why is it always men who seem to be ambivalent to polluting their neighbour’s homes. Is the need to burn selfishness or some form of pyromaniac fetish?

The actions of these men do not absolve their partners from some responsibility. Next time your husband says he is going to have a bonfire on a hot day, just say No! Leave it until a cold or wet day!

So, come on, residents of Cofton Hackett! Let’s start a bit of community spirit. We do not and should not put up with this.

If you know a antagonist, report him to Bromsgrove Council on 01527 881395 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

Name and address supplied


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