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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Bonfire scrapped over safety fear
Bonfire night
There will be fireworks but no bonfire at this year's event
A Guy Fawkes Night celebration held next to a fire station will not have a bonfire this year because of tighter new safety rules.

The event at Coleshill, Warwickshire, falls foul of new legislation that requires public bonfires to be cordoned off and monitored around the clock.

The station on Park Road is closed at night, making it impossible to watch the site 24 hours a day.

The event in Memorial Park, behind the building, will only feature fireworks.

It's not worth taking the risk of litigation
Norman Henderson
Firefighter and town mayor
Local firefighter and town mayor Norman Henderson described the decision as "legislation gone mad".

"I have been building bonfires in Coleshill for 21 years and it's a shame it has to end, but the town council and the fire service had to make this decision," he said.

"Under new health and safety legislation, for firefighters to build it, it needs to be cordoned off and monitored 24 hours a day, and the station is closed at night.

"It's legislation gone mad, but it's for the safety of firefighters and the public and it's not worth taking the risk of litigation.

"We do give out fire safety advice and it doesn't look good if we are giving advice and not taking it."

A Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the town council had been given safety advice about the 6 November celebrations.

She added: "They were informed they would need a fence around the perimeter and some form of security to ensure the bonfire wasn't tampered with."



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