Liberal Democrat Leader calls for urgent government action on moorland fires

The Leader of the real Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Conservative Government calling for a national ban on the sale of disposable barbecues, which are often the cause of moorland fires, and for greater court punishments for those found guilty of negligently or wilfully set fire to our moors.

Councillor Sykes has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, George Eustice MP, calling for action.

Councillor Sykes said: “Action is long overdue. For several years now, people in Oldham, myself included, have been shocked and saddened by the repeated fires that we have witnessed on Crompton, Marsden and Saddleworth Moors. We love our moors, more so after a year when many of us have had to spend much of our time in lockdown and we yearn for a chance to experience again the beauty of these unique open spaces.

Howard Sykes, looking out across Shaw

“It is simply unacceptable that idiots and arsonists continue to destroy these tranquil and fragile landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them. Enough is enough – I want the government to ban the sale of disposable bbqs and increase the fines, community punishments and custodial sentences handed out to offenders. I hope that the Minister will listen and that he will take action.”

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