Facebook page setup to save Clitheroe Commmunity Bonfire

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WIDESPREAD support has been posted on the social networking site Facebook on a page called Save Clitheroe Bonfire.

It was established by Clitheroe Florist Paul Lomax (23) on Thursday morning after he read the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times’ front page article which described how a “breakdown in trust” between the bonfire’s organisers and the local authorities had lead to the scrapping of the event.

The Facebook page has so far received almost 800 likes with many people also leaving a comment.

» Click here to view the Facebook page

Mr Lomax said: “This event has been going on for so long so what has suddenly changed this year? I hope that enough people comment on the Facebook page to make people realise how many people want this event.”

He added: “It has raised thousands for charity and in these hard times those charities need it most.

“An event like this also supports local businesses and we need big events like this and the Torchlight Procession more than ever at the moment.”

Clitheroe Community Bonfire is organised annually by the Rotary Clubs of Ribblesdale, Clitheroe and Pendle View, Clitheroe Round Table and Clitheroe Lions.

It was due to be held as usual on Clitheroe Castle field on Saturday November 3rd.

However, the chairman and vice-chairman of the bonfire committee, Rotarians Richard Dugdale and Bill Barker, both resigned from their positions following what Mr Dugdale described as “a breakdown in trust with the Events Safety and Advisory Group (ESAG).”

ESAG is made up of representatives from Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Highways Authority, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Ambulance Service.

Speaking on behalf of the bonfire committee, Mr Dugdale and Mr Barker told the Clitheroe Advertiser: “Sadly the Ribble Valley Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) became involved, as usual at the 11th hour, and made totally unreasonable demands upon us to continue with what has been a great Guy Fawkes bonfire and firework display for so many years.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council chief executive Marshal Scott defended ESAG and said that the group had been helping organisers plan this year’s bonfire in the event of large crowds attending again. Mr Scott added that he had pledged council support for the event, assistance with temporary road closures and traffic management, and offered financial support.

» Click here to view the Facebook page