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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Group’s leader quits over Barrow Island flats row

THE chairman of a group tasked with spending £1m to breathe life into a deprived community has resigned after a row over regeneration.

ANGRY Dave Armistead pictured at the Barrow Island flats on Barque Street JON GRANGER REF: 0244630

Dave Armistead, who served as chairman of the Barrow Island Big Lottery Steering Group for two years, has chosen to step down from his role over plans for the Barrow Island tenements to be revamped.

The government has allocated £3.4m for renovation work to be carried out on the tenement flats on Barrow Island.

The cash, given to Barrow Borough Council from the Homes and Communities Agency, will be used to restore 200 empty flats.

The money, which has been match funded by three property companies, will be used for properties close to Devonshire Buildings and around Schooner Street, Steamer Street and Barque Street.

However, a row erupted between the council and the steering group, which was formed after a £1m lottery grant was handed to the area to be spent in the community. Many residents claimed they did not want to see money spent on the tenements and would rather see them replaced with new houses.

Mr Armistead contacted the council on the back of the news that the Friars Hotel in Friars Lane, Barrow, will be knocked down and 15 new houses will be built at the site.

He asked if a similar scheme could be brought in on the island. However, the council replied that this was not possible and Mr Armistead said his frustration led to him resigning from his role.

He said: “I suggested they change the £3.4m for the flats to the same stream as the Friars only to be told they can’t do anything as they are part of a conservation area.

“Over the years I have asked our council as to who and when in particular the people from the local community, Barrow Is-land residents, signed up to the area being a conservation area.

“A conservation area is the local community, through the local council, saying the area needs to be protected/conserved. To date they cannot answer that question.”

Barrow Island Councillor Allison Johnston said she felt the council was right to accept the money to help improve the privately- owned flats.

She said: “People are living in those flats, some of them aren’t great, so why shouldn’t the money be taken to help improve these people’s lives?”

Have your say

Well said Tina, I too live on Barrow Island and i think its an absolute disgrace. Why cant the Owners of the flats pay for the work that needs doing to them. Dont get me wrong here people, I am all for them looking better, But not with OUR money.I went to a few of the Steering Group meeting's when the Lottery fund awarded the £1 million pound to the Good people of the Community,That was over two years ago. And apart from a few party's for the kids and a Family fun day at the Rec last year, What has happened to the money.Its ok for the people that dont live in this Friendly Community to say spend it on this,or spend it on that. The long and short of it all is,We were asked what WE wanted to do with it and at the top of the list were a sports facility/Skate park and or a Youth club/Community centre for the kids of Barrow Island.Somewhere safe to play, instead of knocking around the paper shop or going to Walney. LETS LOOK AFTER OURSELVES FOR ONCE.!!

Posted by Ian Goude on 18 February 2013 at 18:48

i live on barrow island and the island needs the money for residents and their children so theres things to do not the flats as they are already getting re developed what a waste of the money and lord ramsden who owns some flats is rubbing his hands and laughing and saying what a bunch of idiots as all that money going on the flats and typical council get there ore in and barrow island get nothing as per usual so totally disagree about where the moneys going there should be a vote by the residents to say what should be done with the money as last heard there was a good list of ideas about what the money was gonna be spent on now thats all gone by the wayside

Posted by tina singleton on 14 February 2013 at 12:34

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