27/07/2017

Belfast City Council To Meet Over Contentious Bonfires

A special meeting of Belfast City Council to discuss the issue of contentious bonfires is set to take place on Wednesday, 02 August.

Making the announcement, Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh said the City Hall meeting will allow Councillors to vote over permitting the local authority to remove bonfire materials from all bonfire sites which are contentious and where "there is willingness from the local community for its removal".

"The decision to call the special council meeting has been taken due to the refusal of the unionist parties to agree to permit the council to remove bonfire materials from all sites," he said.
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"These bonfires are a threat to life and to property. No bonfire is a safe bonfire. They are a blight on communities and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

"Sectarian hate crimes, racist hate crimes, the burning of stolen property, appalling physical and environmental damage occur at these sites, and not only that but the ratepayers of this city have to foot the cost of this year in and year out.

"Laws are being broken and this council has a duty to act."

The motion to be debated states; This council gives permission to our council officers to remove bonfire materials or employ contractors to facilitate the removal of bonfire materials from council sites and other sites, which belong to statutory agencies and those which are in private ownership.

(LM/MH)

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