Bonfire Working Group to look at new Action Plan

Previous bonfires in the Bogside and Fountain estates in Derry.
Previous bonfires in the Bogside and Fountain estates in Derry.

Councillors have backed a new multi-agency Bonfire Working Group after previous concerns over how it will function were addressed.

The new group will see councillors and council officers working with partner agencies to co-ordinate an agreed response and implement similar policies and practises with regards to bonfires.

The council has secured £156,805 from the EU Peace IV Shared Spaces and Services funding to develop and deliver an Action Plan on a Bonfire Policy by March 2019.

Under the project, specific action plans and steering groups will now be developed for each area, while an overall Steering Group will also be introduced.

The council’s Health and Community Committee was informed last week that there was a need to develop a heath and environmental awareness and education campaign on the dangers of burning toxic materials as part of the project.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said it was vitally important that the views of young people feed into the project.

“One thing I did raise last month was that there is no representation of young people on this group and I think that it is vitally important that we are getting those views of young people,” he said.

Sinn Fein Councillor Kevin Campbell said that part of the action plan involves engaging with youth. “Rather than bringing them into this type of environment we are going out to engage with them,” he said.