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Revealed: Bonfire pallet clear-up cost for Belfast residents

 

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Ratepayers stumped up more than £50,000 after Belfast City Council controversially removed, stored and then disposed of thousands of pallets collected for July 11 bonfires, it can be revealed

Ratepayers stumped up more than £50,000 after Belfast City Council controversially removed, stored and then disposed of thousands of pallets collected for July 11 bonfires, it can be revealed

Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye

Ratepayers stumped up more than £50,000 after Belfast City Council controversially removed, stored and then disposed of thousands of pallets collected for July 11 bonfires, it can be revealed

Ratepayers forked out thousands after Belfast City Council controversially removed, stored and then disposed of pallets collected for July 11 bonfires, it can be revealed.

The council took 2,500 pallets from the Bloomfield Walkway bonfire in east Belfast and 300 from the Hope Street bonfire in the south of the city last May with the clear-up costing over £50,000.

They were stored at council-owned Beechvale Farm on the Gransha Road, before a portion of the material was stolen the following month.

There had originally been an agreement that the pallets would be returned, but as the unofficial deal came to light the council took the decision to dispose of the material.

The costs were detailed in a report into the incident by former Northern Ireland Ombudsman Tom Frawley.

The report, which is only available in hard copy for the public to view, also details a number of recommendations for the future.

One of these has already been adopted by the council.

Last Friday it voted to allow its strategic policy and resources committee to take quick decisions on bonfire-related matters, instead of the usual system whereby all committee decisions must be approved at the full monthly meeting of the council.

Dr Frawley was asked to investigate events surrounding the council's handling of Eleventh Night bonfires last summer.

In his report, which was initially kept confidential, the costs of clearing the Bloomfield Walkway site were detailed.

Amazing bird's eye view photos of bonfires [Photos] Close

William Young used a drone to take this remarkable photo of the bonfire at Sandy Row. 11/07/2017

William Young used a drone to take this remarkable photo of the bonfire at Sandy Row. 11/07/2017

Sandy Row Photo: William Young

Sandy Row Photo: William Young

Sandy Row Photo: William Young

Sandy Row Photo: William Young

Roden Street Photo: William Young

Roden Street Photo: William Young

Shankill Photo: William Young

Shankill Photo: William Young

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening.
Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. 
Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening.
Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017:  Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017:  Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017:  Final preparations take place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations take place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan posted this photo of one of his election posters on a bonfire and said he considers the action a hate crime.

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan posted this photo of one of his election posters on a bonfire and said he considers the action a hate crime.

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. [Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire]

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. [Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire]

PA

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. [Photo: PA Wire 10/07/2017]

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. [Photo: PA Wire 10/07/2017]

PA

A bonfire constructed across the road from a petrol station in Carrickfergus was set alight in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A bonfire constructed across the road from a petrol station in Carrickfergus was set alight in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The costs included:

  • £2,500 for a NI Housing Executive contractor to remove 2,500 pallets.
  • £4,992 for the clean-up.
  • An estimated £18,932 in staff costs, which the report noted were not additional costs.

It also details the cost of the Hope Street site:

  • £538 for a Housing Executive contractor to remove 300 pallets.
  • £4,662 for the clean-up.
  • An estimated £18,851 on staff costs, which again were noted as not being additional costs.

There were no storage costs.

The report also noted additional costs for removing and getting rid of material:

  • £500 for VAT.
  • £1,483 for the removal and disposal of material from the Bloomfield Walkway site on May 17, 2017.
  • Another £2,926 for the same on June 5, 2017.
  • £1,097 for the removal and disposal of material from the Hope Street site on June 26, 2017.

Alliance councillor Michael Long said he was not surprised that the costs of dealing with just two bonfire sites had been so high, but suspected that many of the public would be.

He said the cost of the full clean-up operation following all the July 11 bonfires in Belfast would be significantly higher, and pointed out that the council also paid out tens of thousands of pounds to community groups as part of its bonfire management scheme.

"We take responsibility for cleaning up after all the bonfire, even ones not in the bonfire management scheme," he pointed out.

In his report, Dr Frawley acknowledged bonfires were "one of the more complex and difficult challenges facing public authorities in Northern Ireland" and that public bodies had to act in the absence of any political agreement over how to deal with the issue.

"As authorities come under political and community pressure from all sides for action, the reality is that there is no agreement, particularly across political parties, on what that action should entail," Dr Frawley wrote in the report's preamble.

He went on to note that some of the July 11 bonfires were significant events which can attract as many as 5,000 people, and yet were challenging for public bodies to manage.

"Concerningly, the structures and associated behaviours that affect bonfires sit outside the normal framework of insurance liability and public event management," he said.

"Potentially, this has major implications for those public authorities who own these sites where these bonfires may be located or having statutory responsibility for law and order, public safety (specifically fire safety), child protection, the environment, land use planning and the management of housing estates and public spaces, including roads.

Burning issue: Eleventh Night bonfires [Photos] Close

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]

The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters near a lit bonfire on Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017.

Firefighters near a lit bonfire on Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017.

PA

The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]

The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

A quiet moment as the Sandy Row bonfire in south Belfast starts to die down. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye]

A quiet moment as the Sandy Row bonfire in south Belfast starts to die down. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye]

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Onlookers watch as firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Onlookers watch as firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11:  Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11:  Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11:  Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Having finished school for the summer 13 year old Tyler Reid helps guard the Lisburn bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The bonfires, which are lit on the stroke of midnight on the 11th night, mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades in Northern Ireland. The annual Orange marches celebrate the protestant King William of Orange's victory over the catholic English King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Having finished school for the summer 13 year old Tyler Reid helps guard the Lisburn bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The bonfires, which are lit on the stroke of midnight on the 11th night, mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades in Northern Ireland. The annual Orange marches celebrate the protestant King William of Orange's victory over the catholic English King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  A Loyalist climbs the Conway street bonfire built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.   (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: A Loyalist climbs the Conway street bonfire built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. 
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

PA

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

PA

Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10:  Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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LARNE, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: 'Hurka' the chief architect and builder of the Craigyhill bonfire takes a break from stacking pallets to pose with his creation whilst balancing on a ladder on July 10, 2017 in Larne, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

LARNE, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: 'Hurka' the chief architect and builder of the Craigyhill bonfire takes a break from stacking pallets to pose with his creation whilst balancing on a ladder on July 10, 2017 in Larne, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Pastor Lucas Parks at his church in east Belfast close to the walkway bonfire on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Pastor Lucas Parks at his church in east Belfast close to the walkway bonfire on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield Walkway bonfire site.

Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield Walkway bonfire site.

Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

A wooden pallet is carried to a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires 
[Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]

A wooden pallet is carried to a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires [Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Bonfire builders Dean Neeson and Graeme Stewart carry wooden pallets to a bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]

Bonfire builders Dean Neeson and Graeme Stewart carry wooden pallets to a bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in Shankill. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in Shankill. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

A bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn.[Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

A bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn.[Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

A bonfire is pictured in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

A bonfire is pictured in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

A bonfire towers over the housing in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

A bonfire towers over the housing in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Children play on a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires 
The Eleventh Night refers to the night before the Twelfth of July, an annual Protestant commemoration of the famous battle were Protestant King William III of Orange defeated Catholic King James II at the battle of the Boyne on July 12, 1690. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Children play on a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires The Eleventh Night refers to the night before the Twelfth of July, an annual Protestant commemoration of the famous battle were Protestant King William III of Orange defeated Catholic King James II at the battle of the Boyne on July 12, 1690. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

A Union flag flutters in the breeze in front of a bonfire in the village area of Belfast. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

A Union flag flutters in the breeze in front of a bonfire in the village area of Belfast. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie, poses for a photograph beside a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie, poses for a photograph beside a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie (R), inspects a bonfire in the village area of Belfast on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie (R), inspects a bonfire in the village area of Belfast on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole in north Belfast on July 10, 2017 ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole in north Belfast on July 10, 2017 ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]

AFP/Getty Images

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway
East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway
East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway
East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph  09-07-2017
East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council  in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.

"In Belfast, the number of bonfires, coupled with the scale and siting of some, makes the task of Belfast City Council officers particularly challenging."

Last summer some residents were forced to evacuate a 10-storey tower block close to Sandy Row in south Belfast after flames from the nearby bonfire blew towards the building, causing damage.

In 2016 disaster was narrowly averted when embers from a bonfire at Hopewell Square set fire to two terraced houses near the pyre.

Mr Long said he remained hopeful over this year's bonfires.

"There has been an attempt to get more self-regulation, and there is an increasing use of the beacons, which create a lot less mess," he said.

"We would hope that this summer will be better."

Belfast Telegraph