Sinn Fein had a proposal on how Derry City and Strabane District Council (D.C.S.D.C.) would manage future bonfires rejected at the monthly council meeting in the Guildhall on Thursday.
The proposal put forward by Sinn Fein Councillor, Kevin Campbell, was on the back of a survey carried out by the Housing Executive.
“Where it is clearly demonstrated that the majority of residents do not want a bonfire on Council owned property near to their homes then we propose that Council will not permit bonfires to take place.
“Where it clearly demonstrated that the majority of residents do want a bonfire on Council owned property near to their homes we propose that Council will ensure that such bonfires take place in a safe and secure environment using the Safety Advisory Group guidance as a basis for such arrangements.”
Independent Colr. Paul Gallagher expressed scepticism over the proposal and asked for it to be amended.
“I think there are major legal implications to this proposal and I would like to see Council ban all bonfires on Council owned property.
“There is the chance that residents might feel that they have to say they are in favour of a bonfire in their area because they feel threatened,” said Colr. Gallagher.
Independent Colr. Darren O’Reilly made a counter-proposal asking for Colr. Campbell’s proposal be deferred and referred back to the Bonfire Working Group.
“I feel that there is a lot of information we do not have and it’s difficult to make an informed decision. With that in mind, I would ask for this proposal to be deferred in order for us to get this information.
“I would like to know who would be responsible for carrying out the survey of residents and how would bonfires be managed.”
Colr. O’Reilly’s proposal was seconded by Colr. Gallagher, and was passed by vote with 23 in favour and 15 against.