Mid Ulster Council has produced a comprehensive draft policy that seeks to address the environmental and social impacts of all bonfires held on council-owned property in the Mid Ulster area.
The Council held a 13 week-long consultation on the policy across the summer, to which CAJ has responded. Our submission broadly welcomes the policy. We are not aware of any other councils in Northern Ireland that have drafted such a detailed policy on the management of bonfires held on their property
However, we are concerned about certain aspects of the policy, and would like to see a number of amendments made to the current draft.
At present, we believe the policy is not specific enough in relation to measures to ensure the prevention of racist, sectarian and homophobic expression at bonfires. It needs to be made more precise to ensure legal certainty and to prevent harmless forms of freedom of expression being subject to unnecessary restrictions.
You can read our full submission here: submission-bonfire-management-policy