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Opinion : The Sun has got his gas mask on

| July 1, 2014


It’s the first day of July and the weather is quite nice at the moment.

So maybe it’s not brilliant sunshine but the weather is warm and above all dry with occasional glimpses of sunshine.

When going to work this morning it was quite sunny. Indeed while making the short journey into Wycombe town centre today for work yours truly was singing a few bars of ‘The Sun has got his hat on‘ as my trusty motor trundled along.

Arriving home this evening it was still sunny however to my horror an inconsiderate neighbour far away had lit up a bonfire and smoke was drifting across my property.

Forget having a hat on, this evening the Sun would need his gas mask on if he had any intention of breathing outdoors.

Many times your humble servant has written on the topic of bonfires, they are a true nuisance of the very worst kind and what’s more the smoke emitted when burning materials like grass and rubber is toxic and can cause health problems for all who have the misfortune to breathe it in.

It’s about time something was done about bonfires.

After reading this quote from the local Council website it seems very little can be done :

‘Bonfires and the law

It is a common misconception that there are specific byelaw’s prohibiting the lighting or timing of bonfires within the district. There is no outright bonfire ban. This includes areas that lie within the smoke control area.

The only law governing bonfires is the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 which deals with bonfires in relation to statutory nuisances. For example persistent or particularly large bonfires may cause a nuisance.’

So sadly it seems the law only kicks in if a bonfire is persistent or large. To me this seems wrong.

Personally I would like to see all bonfires banned except during the ten days either side of Guy Fawkes night.

Laws exist to prevent people smoking cigarettes in public so how about banning bonfires too?

If I had my way a special municipal bonfire extinguisher would be employed who could come around and do exactly what the job title suggests. Simply ring up a phone number, tell them where the bonfire is and some agents come round and put the infernal thing out. Of course a hefty bill would then be sent to the person who lit the fire in the first place.

With the recycling scheme we have in the Wycombe District there is no need to burn anything as it can all be put into the bin and taken to the tip for recycling.

Sadly the powers that be seem afraid of banning bonfires outright.

How many more people have to suffer sitting indoors with the windows closed on a hot day while some rascal burns some old tyres, garden rubbish or a fridge?

What do you think?

*Don’t forget my blogs are published here on WycombeToday.com twice a week every Tuesday and Friday evenings around 8pm.

*If you should see me walking around the town centre at lunchtimes why not come up and say hello? I’m very friendly and always happy to hear from my readers!

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