DARWEN councillor Paul Browne is calling on the borough to reverse its ‘ludicrous’ decision to refuse to put alley gates on a back lane branded ‘the dirtiest’ in the town.

The Liberal Democrat was delighted when the local authority agreed to introduce a scheme to block off alleys in the Greenway Street area to deter flytipping and crime.

But he was astounded when the workmen failed to put the lockable gates on the narrow lane behind Preston Street, branded ‘the dirtiest back in the entire borough’ by fellow Sudell ward councillor Roy Davies.

Coun Browne contacted Blackburn with Darwen council highways department boss George Bell to be told that the alley was too narrow to allow refuse wagons down if the gates were installed. Now he is calling for a rethink.

Coun Browne said: “The council are fitting alley gates in the Greenway Street area which is a great idea to deter flytipping and other problems. They came down and fitted them in Lloyd Street, missed out Preston Street and went on to Cavendish Street. I rang George Bell and was told that the alley behind Preston Street was too narrow to allow refuse wagons down if the gates were fitted.

“That is ludicrous. It’s always been too narrow for the council lorries. The wagons have never gone down there.

“They park at the end and the men go down and get the wheelie bins up to the wagon.

“It’s always been that way. It’s a ludicrous reason for refusing the alley gates. The council need to change their mind and do something to fit these gates to Preston Street.

“The residents need them there to stop people dumping rubbish. The council and Mr Bell must change their minds on this one.”

Director of environment, housing and neighbourhoods for Blackburn with Darwen Council, Sayyed Osman, said: “We have limited funding for alley gating and receive a large number of requests from residents.

“Alley gates are prioritised in need and we take on board residents’ comments when deciding where they will be installed.”