May’s too soon to spark long hot summer: Colr

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Bewilderment has been expressed over the accumulation of material for an August 15 bonfire before the Spring Bank Holiday is even over us.

Independent councillor Warren Robinson said residents have been dismayed by the early gathering of materials at Linear Park in Galliagh.

The matter was brought to a head when a car was torched there on Tuesday.

“Residents are worried that this year in particular young people have begun to gather materials such as pallets at this site for a bonfire in August,” said Colr. Robinson.

“May is too early for this and this will simply lead to long summer months of unacceptable behaviour in the area. The gathering of these materials leads to associated anti social activity and this manifested itself last night in a serious way when a car was burned at the site,” he added.

Colr. Robinson has contacted council officers to have the car removed and the site cleaned up.

He said: “This is an open space, set aside for recreation of the community and the presence of burned out cars and bonfire materials is intimidating for many ordinary families. I am also calling on the Council to become involved in this situation. We have a bonfire engagement officer and those offices should be utilised fully so that residents can feel comfortable in their homes and not be exposed to four months of mayhem near during the summer months.”

He said the controversial bonfire in the Bogside must not be the only focus of council concern.

“Outlying areas such as Galliagh are largely forgotten. We need engagement in Galliagh as soon as possible.”