Row over Darwen alley gates continues

SENIOR Labour councillors are to block plans for a set of lockable alleygates in Darwen despite the proposals being given planning permission on Thursday.

They believe that back streets in the Whitehall area are ‘too clean’ and that the £70,000 plus needed to block them off would be a waste of cash.

The gates are the brainchild of local councillor and Blackburn with Darwen Liberal Democrat leader David Foster who believes they are essential to combat anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

Last year borough neighbourhood chief Yusuf Jan Virmani sanctioned sealing off the back pathways behind Woodville Terrace, Portland Street, Maria Street, and Alfred Street.

December’s meeting of the council’s planning committee deferred approving the scheme after several councillors, led by Suddell Liberal Democrat Paul Browne, questioned whether the gates were needed and would meet new guidelines for installation.

On Thursday the committee gave planning permission but senior Labour councillors Phil Reilly and Dave Harling questioned the value of the scheme.

Chairman Jim Smith joined them, saying they should be vetoed by the borough Executive Board after the policy change.

Labour group secretary Coun Riley said after the meeting: “When the council is trying to find cuts of £30 million in the next two years, I don’t believe these particular alleygates costing £70,000 to £80,000 are justified.

“I shall be asking Coun Virmani to remove them from the programme.”

Coun Smith said: “I do not think these gates meet the new policy guidelines. I do not think they will go ahead.”

Coun Foster said: “I think this is appalling. Coun Virmani considered the proposal carefully and went through the process of approving and advertising them.

“This is not just about rubbish but about crime and anti-social behaviour. If they were deemed right last year, nothing has changed.”

Coun Browne, who proposed approval, said: “I think what the Labour councillors are doing is disgusting. It is a vendetta against David Foster.”

Coun Riley said: “It’s nothing to do with Coun Foster. It’s about value for money in hard times.”

Comments (18)

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4:13pm Sat 26 Jan 13

burner says...

OOOh !! I say, missus !!! . . . . a hint of criticism fired at the LT because of LACK of snow / road info and they take the comments off their apology re non delivery of papers. Well . . . . if it was SO bad, wasn't it worth mentioning on a NEWS site ?
OOOh !! I say, missus !!! . . . . a hint of criticism fired at the LT because of LACK of snow / road info and they take the comments off their apology re non delivery of papers. Well . . . . if it was SO bad, wasn't it worth mentioning on a NEWS site ? burner

4:15pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Bat E Karen says...

I wondered why the comments were removed. They weren't libellous or anything.
I wondered why the comments were removed. They weren't libellous or anything. Bat E Karen

4:42pm Sat 26 Jan 13

burner says...

They don't like it up 'em, you know !
They don't like it up 'em, you know ! burner

4:56pm Sat 26 Jan 13

pwei73 says...

I live in the Whitehall area of Darwen & I DO NOT want the alley gates this would just be a waste of money, as the council need to save so much over the next 2 years.
I live in the Whitehall area of Darwen & I DO NOT want the alley gates this would just be a waste of money, as the council need to save so much over the next 2 years. pwei73

5:40pm Sat 26 Jan 13

darwenTower says...

Does anyone know why they cost about the same to install as it costs to build an average sized house?
Does anyone know why they cost about the same to install as it costs to build an average sized house? darwenTower

6:47pm Sat 26 Jan 13

phil kernot says...

Tell you why thay cost that much as every council gets a cut from planning to building surveyours to architects and high ways , just goes back in there accounts , people are hood winked , there a nightmare if you want to do some work on the back of your house as not everyone is allowed a key
Tell you why thay cost that much as every council gets a cut from planning to building surveyours to architects and high ways , just goes back in there accounts , people are hood winked , there a nightmare if you want to do some work on the back of your house as not everyone is allowed a key phil kernot

8:13pm Sat 26 Jan 13

PoppyPebble says...

I live on one of the streets and we do not need alley gates. Any time there is an issue with the alley it is down to people who live in the houses putting out rubbish without arranging a bulky waste collection. We do not have a lot of crime or anti-social behaviour and Councillor Foster is unreasonable/scaremo
ngering to say that we do.
I live on one of the streets and we do not need alley gates. Any time there is an issue with the alley it is down to people who live in the houses putting out rubbish without arranging a bulky waste collection. We do not have a lot of crime or anti-social behaviour and Councillor Foster is unreasonable/scaremo ngering to say that we do. PoppyPebble

8:21pm Sat 26 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

2 points
1. Arnt those alley ways a public right of way, think they are you can't just go blocking off a public highway.

2. £70,000 to £80,000 brown envelopes at the ready please.
2 points 1. Arnt those alley ways a public right of way, think they are you can't just go blocking off a public highway. 2. £70,000 to £80,000 brown envelopes at the ready please. 2 for 5p

8:39pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Mothernature says...

PollyPebble is correct. Whitehall does not need those alley gates. Where they are needed in Darwen just doesn't get a look in. The whole idea of the gates are to prevent anti-social behaviour and fly tipping. I'd like to know how many crimes have been reported to the police, as that is one of the criterias required for wanting the gates in the first place. If Whitehall has higher crime statistics than other parts of Darwen, then someone is cooking the books.
PollyPebble is correct. Whitehall does not need those alley gates. Where they are needed in Darwen just doesn't get a look in. The whole idea of the gates are to prevent anti-social behaviour and fly tipping. I'd like to know how many crimes have been reported to the police, as that is one of the criterias required for wanting the gates in the first place. If Whitehall has higher crime statistics than other parts of Darwen, then someone is cooking the books. Mothernature

10:18pm Sat 26 Jan 13

whitehallhero says...

I just hope we don't get them waste of money and Whitehall is a good area no crime I can speak of. I think the fosters should retire and let someone more in tune with local people have a go. Getting sick of it now. They will lower house prices too, as people will think there is high crime here.
I just hope we don't get them waste of money and Whitehall is a good area no crime I can speak of. I think the fosters should retire and let someone more in tune with local people have a go. Getting sick of it now. They will lower house prices too, as people will think there is high crime here. whitehallhero

10:11am Sun 27 Jan 13

Izanears says...

I have written this beore when this subject has arisen.
Some residents in Pendle clamoured for gates saying it would reduce crime etc. They got them and all went well for few weeks. Then they got tired of having to open and close them so they were left open. After a few years they were sold off for scrap. THINK AGAIN BLACKBURN WITH DARWEN BEFORE WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY.
I have written this beore when this subject has arisen. Some residents in Pendle clamoured for gates saying it would reduce crime etc. They got them and all went well for few weeks. Then they got tired of having to open and close them so they were left open. After a few years they were sold off for scrap. THINK AGAIN BLACKBURN WITH DARWEN BEFORE WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY. Izanears

11:12am Sun 27 Jan 13

psch says...

Since the gates have permission then the solution is simple. If 100% of the owners and residents are in agreement with the gates then they cough up the £70,000.
Taxpayer happy and they get what they want. I suspect the freeloaders who want the gates won't be happy though.
Since the gates have permission then the solution is simple. If 100% of the owners and residents are in agreement with the gates then they cough up the £70,000. Taxpayer happy and they get what they want. I suspect the freeloaders who want the gates won't be happy though. psch

12:46pm Sun 27 Jan 13

louderfasterlonger says...

It looks like Paul Browne has been beaten into shape by his Party Whip !
It looks like Paul Browne has been beaten into shape by his Party Whip ! louderfasterlonger

12:00pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Progressive Penguin says...

I'm confused... is Paul Browne for or against?

The comments above from residents in the area are the most illuminating though!
I'm confused... is Paul Browne for or against? The comments above from residents in the area are the most illuminating though! Progressive Penguin

12:25pm Mon 28 Jan 13

don't worry be happy says...

I used to live in Whitehall, and don't see the need for alley gates, what puzzles me is that it is ok to spend over £600k to clean Blackburn Market Hall floor but £70k is too much to spend in Darwen, it seems a case of double standards to me!!
I used to live in Whitehall, and don't see the need for alley gates, what puzzles me is that it is ok to spend over £600k to clean Blackburn Market Hall floor but £70k is too much to spend in Darwen, it seems a case of double standards to me!! don't worry be happy

5:54pm Mon 28 Jan 13

allan1957 says...

I thought the £70.000 for this gates were allocated through a grant the money would not be able to be used for anything else.therefore it cant be taxpayers money
I thought the £70.000 for this gates were allocated through a grant the money would not be able to be used for anything else.therefore it cant be taxpayers money allan1957

7:24pm Mon 28 Jan 13

whitehallhero says...

I think they have given the go ahead for this now. Not happy. The councilors daughter lives on Portland st I wonder is that why they wanted them. I ask people of Whitehall especially people on the gated streets to now NOT TO vote for the lib dem councilors next time.
I think they have given the go ahead for this now. Not happy. The councilors daughter lives on Portland st I wonder is that why they wanted them. I ask people of Whitehall especially people on the gated streets to now NOT TO vote for the lib dem councilors next time. whitehallhero

10:52pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Kiwihead says...

Yawn
Yawn Kiwihead

Comments are closed on this article.

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