Dorset Council plans disposable BBQs ban

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image copyrightDorset & Wiltshire Fire Service
image captionEleven disposable BBQs were found by firefighters after a major blaze in Wareham Forest

A council has proposed a ban on disposable barbecues in public spaces.

Dorset Council officers are now looking at how prohibiting portable cookers would work.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday the authority said the move came after a number of recent fires, including a blaze in Wareham Forest which destroyed 220 hectares of woodland.

Some shops in the New Forest have already agreed to remove single-use barbecues from sale.

A council report said a ban was needed to protect the county's habitat, ecology, wildlife, property and for the safety of emergency services.

The idea of introducing controls was put forward after the Wareham Forest blaze, which burned for almost two weeks, was blamed on disposable barbecues.

image copyrightDWFRS
image captionSmoke from the Wareham Forest fire drifted as far as Bournemouth during its peak in May

Councillors were also told 30 of the cookers had been abandoned on Studland beach in one evening, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

Rebecca Knox, chair of the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Authority, said children had been injured by barbecues which had been buried under the sand.

She said it would take national legislation to ban the sale of the barbecues but she hoped retailers and residents could be "nudged" to take their own action.

Ray Bryan, the council's portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said he would do everything in his power to make Dorset a disposable barbecue free-zone.

The move comes after 18 stores in the New Forest agreed to remove the items from sale.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis presented a petition in parliament on Tuesday urging the government to outlaw single-use barbecues.

He said local laws and regulations were proving "extremely difficult, if not impossible to enforce".

"Single-use barbecues are designed to be disposable but are causing great risk to the forest environment," Mr Lewis added.

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