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Blackburn residents urged not to put extra strain on emergency services on Bonfire Night

As public fireworks celebrations are cancelled due to the social distancing rules, Together Housing, along with their charity arm Newground, has teamed up with the local authority and blue light services to ask people to avoid burning their own rubbish on a bonfire, dumping their rubbish on a bonfire being built near them, or giving their rubbish to someone else to dump or burn. 

The partnership is urging residents to report any concerns about build-up of waste that could be set alight, allowing Newground’s environmental team to safely dismantle and remove the potential hazards.  

Caroline Grosvenor, Head of Sustainable Neighbourhoods at Together Housing Group, said. “We are committed to working with our partners and contribute to any initiative like this that helps to keep our residents and those living in our neighbourhoods safe.” 

Steve Greenwood, Director of Landscapes and Estate Services at Newground, said: “This year’s bonfire period will be unlike any that has gone before due to the regulations surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Aside from the very real threat of Covid, you can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for using fireworks illegally. 

“Bonfires and fireworks can be dangerous and hard to control in the wrong hands, posing a serious threat to life and property. In addition to the risk of fire damage, burning certain types of materials such as plastics, rubber and treated wood can not only harm the environment, but also the health of people in the vicinity. 

“While organised events are not an option this year, there are still plenty of fun things you can do at home with the family from making a Guy Fawkes scarecrow to baking traditional food such as parkin cake.  

“We know this will be a huge disappointment for many people but we have to continue to make safety our main priority.” 

Blackburn with Darwen’s Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Damian Talbot said: “We understand how much our communities love to come together for these events, but we need to protect each other and find new ways to celebrate. 

“Virtual meetups and events, treasure hunts, ghost story video calls and Halloween movie watch parties with friends and families are just some of the ways people can enjoy the season together, and whilst we know that these are not the same as being physically at an event, they are a good way of enjoying cultural and leisure activities whilst we are apart.”

People are asked to follow government guidelines and lockdown restrictions which means not visiting other people’s homes or gardens. It is against the law to break these rules and the police can take action against those who flout them. 

Members of the public who have concerns over bonfires in their community are asked to call 01254 585921

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