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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Back street gates ‘have failed to make a difference to crime’ in Barrow

ALLEY gates which cost around £45,000 to install in a bid to tackle crime in Barrow are to be scrapped because they are not making a difference.

SET TO GO Alley gates in Barrow, which the council are to remove after it has been revealed they are making no difference to an effort to tackle town centre crime MILTON HAWORTH REF:0224792

Around £313,000 has been spent on fitting and maintaining the gates in backstreets across the Barrow borough since they were installed in 2007.

But the Barrow local committee on Cumbria County Council was today due to be recommended to remove the gates in back streets across the town centre.

A report prepared for the meeting said figures showed that although there has been a decrease in crime and anti-social behaviour, it has been not been any greater than areas without alleygates.

The report said the gates, which are consistently being left open by residents, are therefore not serving their intended purpose.

A total of £19,000 has been spent on repairs in 2013/14 alone, with £10,600 of that spent on those in the centre.

Almost half of the damage was caused by vandalism and 55 per cent by carelessness, such as people not closing them. In contrast, the report said gates in other parts of the borough are kept closed and looked after by the occupiers.

Police, firefighters, councillors and other partners have met to discuss the proposal and indicated they would not object to it.

Councillor Mary Irwin, who represents Central ward on the borough council, said: “The problem is that the residents don’t close them. I’ve been round that way looking quite a few times and they’re always just left wide open.

“I don’t see the point in having them if they’re going to leave them open.

“If it’s going to help save money, with the way things are at the moment, then they would be just as well to take them away.”

Sharon Sharples was the driving force Harrison and Lord Street Residents’ Group in Barrow which embraced the gates to enclose the backstreet and use it as a community haven.

Ms Sharples, who now lives in Newbarns, with a friend renting her Harrison Street home, said: “We had chess pieces out the back, chairs, hanging baskets, and it was widely used by the community.

“I think that’s ended to a degree now. But having the gates, I think people feel a lot safer because they felt they could let the kids out the back without them wandering off, and they felt safe to sit out the back. Children won’t be able to go out the back anymore because some of them are too young – the gates actually kept them in.

“So from a community aspect, I think it’s a bad idea to take them down.”

Sergeant John McIntosh, of Barrow police, said: “We are aware that since the alleygates were installed, there was a reduction in crime in the relevant sites.

“However, that reduction has bottomed out and there is no difference in those streets with alleygates and those without.

“However, the constabulary will work with all partners and it’s our aim to ensure that crime levels and anti-social levels stay at their common low levels.”

Have your say

Yet another instance of our Councillors both at local level and County ( mostly the same people) not either listening to or Consulting with the Rate and Tax payers of this town and County. They just do what they want regardless of what the residents think or say. There only appears to be one councillor who speaks out against there ridiculous decisions and that is Dave Roberts! Is that because all the rest of them have to toe the Labour Party line, even our MP does nothing to fight against these things. Ie cuts to our Fire Service, Parking Metres which will surely chase more shoppers to free parking at the superstores. We couldn't even make our views made by voting them out in May as there was no County or Local elections. Shame on you all!

Posted by Is this yet another boob on behalf of our Council on 16 July 2014 at 14:45

Well no surprise here with this one, everybody knew that locking back streets off was not a good idea and definitely a blantant waste of public money. From a safety point of view alone it was not a good idea to fit expensive gates to the back streets, what if Fire and Ambulance vehicle access is required? Do you run around looking for the key to these gates or is there a master code required? Not helpful at all.
As I said this has been a blatanat waste of public money, the money could have and should have been used for far more important issues for example road repairs.
I would not at all be surprised if it was revealed someone on the council who awarded the contract; was connected to the firm who built the gates in some form or other; a conflict of interest. Nothing Barrow Borough Council does surprises me nowadays, which is very little; Barrow was once a very proud clean environment but all we see now is boarded up shops, roads and pavements cracked and over growing with weeds, Its high time the monies spent by the council was allocated more effectively so the tax payers like myself can see the fruit of their labour, instead of piling money into worthless projects, giving money out to drug addicts and alcoholics. Is it any wonder people go in their droves to Australia and such like to build more worthwhile lives.
We should also look after the elderly more effectively and take a leaf out of Germany's book, they lost World War two and had to start from scratch once Hitler was dead but they are still streets ahead of this Country.

Posted by Robert Corran on 15 July 2014 at 13:46

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