Green council bans bonfire

Council chiefs have banned the traditional bonfire from their annual fireworks display because it breaches their environmental policies.

Slough Borough Council, which began a Cleaner, Safer, Greener Slough campaign in July, announced that the 60-foot fire would be axed from the event on November 3.

It is the second year the council has decided not to go ahead with the bonfire in a bid to cut the event’s carbon footprint – which fireworks experts have estimated will now be the equivalent of a tank of petrol.

Councillor Dexter Smith, commissioner for planning at Slough Borough Council, said: “We all have a responsibility to look after our environment and reduce our carbon footprint, so we took the decision not to have a bonfire.

“The council launched its Cleaner, Safer, Greener Slough campaign to encourage residents to do what they can to improve the local and global environment.

“We want to lead by example and it would have been hypocritical for us to have organised a huge bonfire which carries on burning long after visitors have left the event.”

He denied reports that the decision was motivated by political correctness, and added that the council had organised a range of other entertainment alongside the fireworks, such as musicians and trapeze artists.

Councillor Smith said: “There is absolutely no truth in the suggestion that we made this decision to avoid offending any members of our community.

“This year’s event will be a fantastic fireworks display and other entertainment for all our residents to enjoy and celebrate the night.”

After the bonfire was banned last year, the council received just two official complaints and 15,000 people turned up to enjoy the event.

No official complaints have yet been made to the council about this year’s decision.

Although there will be no bonfire at the council’s event, council bosses have no powers to ban residents or other events organisers from lighting their own bonfires on private land.

Kate Martin

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