ANGRY and worried Mellor residents have expressed their concerns after finding empty nitrous oxide canisters in a car park.

Pictures show several empty canisters strewn across Mellor Village Hall car park, as well as burst balloons and discarded fast food takeaway bags.

Residents are now up in arms as they say it isn’t the first time such littering has taken place.

The resident who took the photographs said: “I took these on Tuesday morning at around 8.10am.

“I suggest whoever has left them were meeting there Monday evening.

“I have also seen what looks to be swapping of packages which we are certain are drug deals.”

The resident said that since the car parks at the Spread Eagle and the Old Windmill have been closed at night they have had an increasing problem at Mellor Village Hall with the discarding of canisters and various other litter.

They said: “The hall grounds are constantly used by children and families walking with dogs.

“Apart from the loutish littering, any canisters that may still be full are a real danger.”

As well as being upset about the mess, which volunteer groups such as Keep Blackburn Tidy try to combat in their daily litter-picking rounds, Mellor residents are gravely concerned about the risks associated with taking nitrous oxide.

The resident continued: “It is so frightening this is on our doorstep. We desperately want more police presence and CCTV on the site to end these gatherings.”

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it’s more commonly known, is inhaled using canisters and balloons.

Despite having legitimate medical uses, the substance carries a risk of death as a lack of oxygen can occur from inhalation.

Village hall committee member Janine Foster said: “We don’t usually get this amount of canisters but over the last month in the same spot I have picked up empty vodka bottles and used condoms, it’s disgusting. We often get drug bags and the like too.

“It’s a quiet area in the centre of the village which is surrounded by houses.

“The police have been contacted as have the council but they won’t move stuff that’s on private land.”

A Ribble Valley Police spokesperson said: “We have spoken to the parish council and those connected to Mellor Village Hall and we are in discussions about how to tackle the issue.

“We have suggested a gate be fitted to stop access to the car park at night.

“We want residents to know we are working with the parish council and those in charge of the village hall to try and remedy the situation.”