Bonfire mistaken for fly-tipping by council

Bonfire in Glasgow, 5 November 2012 David Crowder said the council should have known the material was for a bonfire

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A decades-old Guy Fawkes celebration was left with no bonfire after a council mistook the collected material for fly-tipped waste and removed it.

Villagers in Lower Hartshay in Derbyshire said they were surprised and disappointed to find "environmental crime scene" tape there instead.

Amber Valley Borough Council said it responded to a fly-tipping complaint and put up a warning sign first.

They also said organisers should have applied for a temporary events licence.

Residents said they did not see the warning sign and villager David Crowder said they had never needed a licence before.

"I've been involved for the last 29 years, as long as I've lived in the village, so it has been a longstanding event," he said.

"I'm sure the council have been aware it happens every year, so we feel it would have been better had they approached one of us, rather than take it away."

Taxpayers' money 'wasted'
David Crowder Villagers did not see a warning sign put on the fence by the council

He said the council should have realised the heap of hedge cuttings and scrap wood was for a bonfire, given the time of year.

"It just seems such a waste of taxpayers' money," he said.

Children and adults usually help to build the material into a bonfire on the day of the event, which Mr Crowder said "brings people together".

A smaller event, with fireworks and sparklers, was held on Saturday.

"We want to try and have a bonfire next year and we just want to work with the council now to ensure we do everything they want us to," said Mr Crowder.

A council spokesman said the authority was happy to provide help and support for organisers of community events.

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