21 groups sign up to bonfire scheme

TWENTY one groups have signed up to the council’s Bonfire Management Programme for 2022 - up from 19 last year.

This years’ scheme was approved by the council in March with a budget of £3,000 per site for family fun day or festival activities.

Following a spending and procurement scandal back in 2016, the aims of the reformed programme are ‘to work with and support local communities to bring about improvements in bonfire management, particularly in terms of inclusivity, safety and increased family atmosphere’.

It also aims to ‘further reduce the adverse health and environmental impacts of bonfires including the illegal disposal of waste.

The deadline for signing up to the 2022 Bonfire Management Programme was Friday April 8.

Following a series of one to one meetings with site representatives from across the Borough a total of 21 sites have agreed to participate in this year’s programme.

They incude the Burnside Beacon, Doagh Double Beacon, Ballycraigy Bonfire, Parkhall Kilgreel Road Double Beacon and Parkhall Kilbride Gardens Double Beacon.

Steeple Oaktree Drive and Newpark and Caulside will have a fun day but no bonfire.

Townparks will have a Beacon , Dublin Road a Double Beacon and Neillsbrook will have a Bonfire.

A report due before Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Community Planning Committee this week said that all of the groups are currently in the process of developing their July Festival/Family Fun Day Events and are completing all the necessary paperwork.

It is anticipated that the procurement of all goods and services in relation to each site will be completed by the end of June 2022.

Interagency site inspections involving the NIFRS, NIHE, PSNI and council representatives have been agreed.

Pre-Collections will be inspected by a council officer on Friday May 13.

First and second full inspections will be made in June with a final inspection on Friday July 8.

An Events Management Course will be delivered during the month of June and two representatives from each site will be invited to attend.

A further report on the outcomes of the programme will be presented to committee in September 2022.

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