Wednesday July 08 2020



In Full . . .

Bonfires have the potential to kill

Posted on March 30 2019 at 1:06:44

I agree entirely with the view expressed by Michael Lewis, (Village Views, March 2019), with regard to the selfish menace of bonfires.

No sooner has the bright weather arrived in Cofton Hackett than – you’ve guessed it – a bonfire spoils the clean, sunny fresh air with foul-smelling toxins. During the hot months it’s torture having to close windows, when people should be in the garden enjoying sunshine.

As Mr Lewis quite rightly stated, there is ongoing “talk about air pollution,” yet although our neighbour, Birmingham City Council, is to charge motorists and buses to enter the city centre from January 2020 if these vehicles don’t meet strict emission limits, there is no mention of garden bonfires which have the potential to cause severe breathing problems for toddlers, youngsters and of course the elderly.

Much is also said about wood-burning stoves, yet they are clean when properly fitted.

It is frustrating when Cofton residents wash their cars, only to find some selfish idiot lights up a filthy bonfire, covering hard work with dust and ash.

Even when bonfire smoke reduces visibility on Barnt Green Road to just a few feet, it’s hopeless calling the police.

Trying to make an accurate assessment of air quality when bonfires become part of the equation is hopeless and makes for false readings.

Now I am not so mean as to suggest that the November 5 Bonfire Night celebrations should be curbed; they are part of the nation’s heritage.

However we do need a new Clean Air Act to curb garden bonfires and if the law is ignored, then fines.

I propose £10,000 for the first offence, £25,000 for the second and £100, 000 for a third. It sounds a lot but bonfires have the potential to kill people with asthma.

Footnote: Where is our resident astronomer? No sign of him in the March 2019 issue!

John A Ridarta, Cofton Hackett

The Editor writes: Brian Watkiss took a break in March but he’s back this month – click here

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