MLA calls for clean-up of Rathfern bonfire site

Councillor Paula Bradley MLA at the bonfire site in Rathfern which is still awaiting a clean-up. INNT 37-036-FP
Councillor Paula Bradley MLA at the bonfire site in Rathfern which is still awaiting a clean-up. INNT 37-036-FP
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THE eyesore left behind after the July 11 bonfire in Rathfern has sparked a row between the North Eastern Education and Library Board and North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley.

The DUP politician this week called on the NEELB, which owns the land, to “fulfil its obligations” under Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Bonfires Protocol and clear the site.

However, the Board has hit back, saying its scare resources will not be used for removing rubbish.

“Under the council’s Bonfires Protocol the responsibility for clearing the site lies with the owner,” Ms Bradley explained. “NEELB were represented at meetings of the Bonfire Sub-Committee and should have been aware of their obligations. A number of weeks ago I wrote to the NEELB to raise the matter and I would again call upon them to fulfil their responsibilities, as with other statutory landowners involved in the protocol.”

Responding to councillor Bradley’s comments, a Board spokesman said that the NEELB would not be footing the bill for another clean-up operation at the site.

“It is not reasonable to expect the Board to use very scarce resources for work that has absolutely no connection with education,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...