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Bonfire Beware - Watch Out For 'Fire-Flies'
Tuesday 11th October, 2005

Fly-tippers who are thinking about making a Bonfire Night mess may get their fingers burnt, warn council chiefs.

Each year traditional bonfires across the borough are plagued by the menace of fly-tippers who see the celebration as a cynical opportunity to dangerously dump waste.

In recent years communities in areas of Ashton-in-Makerfield such as Whitledge Green, Town Green (Orchard Street) and Ashton Heath have seen their bonfires fall victim to fly-tippers.

Other areas that have suffered include Lamb Street/Moore Street East in Whelley.

In one instance the tippers turned a bonfire into a massive mound of commercial rubbish 20 feet high and 70 feet wide, prompting residents to raise concerns about safety.

Now the council's Planning and Community Protection departments have joined forces to combat the bonfire fly-tippers and officers are sending out the message: you are being watched.

A surveillance operation will be taking place in the run up to Bonfire Night and anyone caught fly-tipping could face prosecution.

The council has recently set up a dedicated team to crack down on fly-tippers and officers using hi-tech CCTV equipment will be taking part in the operation.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and in some cases can result in fines of up to 50,000 or five years in prison.

Wigan Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr David Molyneux, says: "We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night and we are determined not to let selfish fly-tippers spoil it.

"There can be no excuses for commercial fly-tipping. It is nothing more than people trying to shirk their responsibilities and avoid paying for disposing of the waste legally."

Cllr Molyneux adds: "These people are dumping on all of us and it really is a blight on our communities. We intend to take the strongest possible action against anyone caught doing this."

Members of the public can report fly-tipping to the Council's Streetcare Helpline on 01942 404364, or by e-mailing streetcarehelpline@wiganmbc.gov.uk.

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