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Call to ban disposable barbecues from beaches

Disposable barbecues have been blamed for a number of recent fires
Disposable barbecues have been blamed for a number of recent fires

DISPOSABLE barbecues should be banned from beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, a senior councillor has said.

The Conservative shadow cabinet member for crime, Cllr May Haines, called on BCP Council to follow similar demands made in the New Forest to make their use along the seafront “illegal”, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

She said issues linked to their use, including bin fires and children suffering burns, meant “urgent action” was required.

As reported in the A&T, a petition of more than 9,000 names was recently presented to the House of Commons by New Forest East MP Julian Lewis urging action following a spate of fire alerts.

In Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole barbecues can be used on the beaches only after 6pm under existing rules, and no open fires are allowed.

But recent incidents, including the fire in May at Wareham Forest which took almost two weeks to extinguish, have led to increased calls for a ban.

Barbecues are prohibited on the open New Forest by Forestry England, and Dorset Council is consulting on a similar measure.

Cllr Haines said: “The respite in the weather has kept visitors away [but] fine weather is not far off.

“Urgent action is need to deal with many issues. Banning fires along our seafront will be a good place to start.”

The Canford Cliffs ward councillor has also called for tighter restrictions on bonfires along the seafront, particularly in more residential areas, and a crackdown on “increased numbers” of people using nitrous oxide canisters.

BCP Council’s cabinet member for tourism, Cllr Lewis Allison, said its position was “encouraging” people not to have open fires on either the beaches or on any council-owned land.

He said: “Barbecues are illegal on all our heathlands, and we give clear guidance for people who want to have one on the beach, including how to safely dispose of them to prevent a fire hazard.”

However, council officers will meet next week to discuss issues surrounding their use.

Dorset fire service advises people not to use disposable barbecues outside of their garden and to make sure they have cooled before they are put into a bin.

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