COUNCIL bosses have cleared 19 tonnes of rubbish in Larkfield believed to have been gathered for a 'rogue bonfire'.

Local authority bosses say that they are treating the case as fly-tipping and say those responsible are being hit with a bill of £3,500.

Contractors found mattresses and three-piece suites among a mountain of debris dumped in Oxford Road.

Police assisted in the clear-up operation in case there was any trouble at the scene during the clearance.

A spokesman for Inverclyde Council said: “Our contractors have removed nearly 19 tonnes of rubbish that had been dumped at Oxford Road.

"We believe it was an unlicensed bonfire in the making.

"We are treating this as fly-tipping and we will be charging those responsible the full cost of the clean-up.

"The landfill tax alone for this one operation is nearly £3,500."

Council chiefs say they are clamping down on unlicensed bonfires this year, describing them as dangerous.

A spokesman said: "We will take the strongest possible action against unlicensed bonfires.

"These are a real danger both to the people who go to them and to the people who live nearby.

"Our contractors have removed numerous mattresses and several three piece suites from this mountain of rubbish.

"The flame retardants in these products would have stopped them burning for a while but eventually they would have caught fire.

"When the foam in furniture burns it produces dangerous, toxic fumes.

“This year there are free, licensed bonfires and fireworks displays at The Knapps in Kilmacolm, Battery Park and the Gourock Golf Course.

"We would advise people to go to one of these events and not an unlicensed bonfire."

He added: "Interestingly, the results of a recent Scottish Government consultation found that 87 per cent of the people who responded favoured a complete ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.”