Armitage: Plans to keep bonfire under control ignored

Alliance Councillor David Armitage has spoken of his frustration after Belfast City Council and other agencies reneged on agreed protocol, meaning a planned bonfire close to the Comber Greenway has again been allowed to grow out of control.

Last year homes in the Chobham Street had to be boarded up, while the Council has already removed equipment from a play park to protect it from severe heat damage – a move Councillor Armitage says could have been avoided.

Councillor David Armitage – who will raise the issue at Monday night’s Council meeting – said: “After the severe danger this Bonfire caused last year, it was agreed that action would be taken to prevent this happening again, but unfortunately these plans have been ignored.

“It was agreed pallets would be taken away where appropriate, allowing this Bonfire to continue but without the serious threat to the safety of residents.

“Over the past few weeks I’ve continued to report excess pallets being dumped, with Belfast City Council and a number of other agencies effectively passing the buck when it came to taking responsibility for removing them.

“We are now left in the same situation as last year – approaching bonfire night with the views of residents being ignored, despite the work I have put in over the past few weeks to represent their interests.

“While everyone has the right to celebrate their cultural traditions, this must not be done at the expense of others. I hope in the coming days we can find a compromise ensuring the local community are not inconvenienced.”

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