Bonfire2017

Bonfire in Whitehouse Crescent Causing Concern!

A situation in Whitehouse crescent on Ashmore Park has been developing over recent days, as a bonfire being made ready for 5th of November has been growing to a huge height.

There has been a bonfire on Whitehouse Crescent for many years, but over those years the law surrounding Health & Safety has changed considerably. Now to build and construct a safe public bonfire on public land you have to have the permissions of the owners. Also you have to have safety policies in place for use in the event of a misfortune on the night.

The Land on Whitehouse Crescent is in the ownership of the Wolverhampton City Councils Highways portfolio.

When I asked questions about this years (2017) event, I was informed that “No application has been received”.

If there has been no application received, it follows logically that no single person/ committee has taken up the responsibility, that is required in law – in case of injury or accident.

In light of the information City Officials went onto inform me that they are now considering enforcement action against those tipping on the green.

They are taking the line that those responsible are involved with fly tipping offences.

Last year (2016) the City Council assisted with this event providing guidance for the organisers, but it was difficult to establish a person responsible for the event.

I have only been back from holiday one day! But there has been a steady stream of objectors to what is happening now, and it is clear there is no overall resident support for the event taking place. Many residents it appears would feel safer if the event  was curtailed.

I took a quick look at the bonfire on Sunday ( 29th Oct 2017) morning after the first telephone complaints had been picked up. I also became concerned to see a secondary pile of combustible material growing with Old Plastic Suites and other items being piled high.

This morning ( Monday 30th October 2017) I was informed that yet another load of combustible items was dropped by another lorry!

The law and guidance provided by the Government specifically warns about using rubber and plastics that may harm people’s health on bonfires. It is clear that these items dumped have plastic and Foam and rubber in the contents.

Other resident objectors inform me of their concerns for the safety of the telephone wires that the bonfire has been constructed under, and due to the Bonfire size could disrupt local communications if damaged by heat or fire.

The City Council Officials will likely be making a decision about the Bonfire in the next day or so. I will inform you via my social media what that decision is.

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Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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