Barbecue bashing half way round the world

There’s no getting away from it, the subject of barbecue can be controversial to say the least.

In this week’s blog post we’re looking at two areas which couldn’t be further apart – Bournemouth in England and Adelaide in Australia where the subject of barbecuing – either by residents or visitors – has reached the ears and offices of the local council, law enforcement and the media.

bbq fire

In Bournemouth, for instance, residents of a housing area are learning to garden in order to be able to repair burnt patches of grass made by barbecues during the summer months.

Members of the West Cliff Green Residents’ Association have actually been handed grass seeds by their local council to plant and cultivate so that grass will once again grow on the land.

Chris College, chairman of the residents group said: “There are burnt patches here caused by all the barbecues held there over the summer.  And yet, it’s a no barbecue area.”

Bournemouth council are considering using certain areas of the green for barbecues. The council’s parks development manager Michael Rowland said he was pleased to be working with the residents group in order to reach some sort of compromise.

“Grass seed has been donated by the parks team for this well established residents’ group to plant up this weekend; they are also undertaking a community litter pick, which will be assisted by street services,” he said.

“We are also carrying out a survey asking local people for their views on a number of issues at the green such as local amenities, catering, play facilities and anti social behaviour to look at longer term improvements for the area.”

Meanwhile a community group Down Under are having the opposite problem. The Hazara Community have been banned by Campbelltown Council from hosting annual barbecues in the town’s Thorndon Park.

The councillors say that under the Fire and Emergency Services Act the barbecues would constitute a fire hazard and could therefore not go ahead during the months of December to April.

But Ilyas Ahmadi for the Hazara Community reckons the ban is too harsh and will affect the community negatively.

“(The) Hazara community has been using the park for cultural celebrations and weekend parties for more than six years and had always been a responsible user of the park,” he said.

“The type of barbecue we make is called kebab. This is one of our main cultural dishes that we make every week – it is as important as pasta (is) for Italians.

“Enforcing the ban of open fire at Thorndon Park will harshly affect the community members.”

He went on to say that the group were aware of the potential fire hazard a barbecue could prove and said it was for this reason that they used only professional chefs at their celebrations every year.

“Most of time there are no flames involved but a lot of smoke from the fat from meat dripping on the charcoal barbecues,” he said. “The smoke is absolutely safe to breathe and smells delicious.”