Tuesday February 25 2020



In Full . . .


Posted on June 30 2017 at 9:59:48

We feel we should join in on bonfires, having wafted the flames ever so gently to start with by asking in the June issue what readers feel about lighting up in their gardens.

This is always a hot – and smoky – topic because there are those who do and those who don’t burn waste in their gardens . . . and never the twain shall meet.

One of our correspondents on these pages says it has been a problem ever since she moved to The Village area 20 years ago. Perhaps she came from an urban area, where bonfires are much more rare these days?

We have noticed in the past that people who move to our villages from, say, Birmingham, are the ones most surprised to find their neighbours happily burning garden rubbish just over the hedge.

There is no doubt that it can be very annoying on that lovely summer’s day when you open all the windows in your home to enjoy the cool air flowing through, only to sniff the tell-tale odour of burning debris.

Windows have to be closed, the washing brought in, and if you had been planning to enjoy the afternoon or evening al fresco, forget it until the fire goes out.

Inevitably, there are calls for “something to be done”, but this is not something the authorities are going to get involved with unless there is persistent burning of noxious materials.

Bonfires are not illegal in any way and can be lit at any time “so long as the smoke from them does not cause nuisance to another person’s premises”, according to Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

As WRS appear not to have the resources to tackle some quite large environmental nuisances in this area, they are hardly likely to turn out when your neighbour is burning his hedge cuttings.

So it is up to us all to think of others and behave reasonably. Waiting until after dusk before lighting up, and perhaps avoiding doing it that evening if you know your neighbours are going to be outside, seems quite reasonable to us.

* Congratulations to Kate Van Der Plank, who has shown that party politics is on the wane in local government in this area. In winning the Alvechurch Village Ward by-election, Councillor Kate’s 893 votes
put her a long way ahead of the Conservative candidate’s 583.

The people of Alvechurch Village clearly decided that “just ticking Tory” was no longer the preferred option and elected the candidate with a track record of service to the village who pledged to put local interests first, rather than those of a political party that had controlled the selection of the candidate.

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