A COUNCILLOR has been rapped over a video circulating on social media which shows him filming two youths on a frozen lake.

The footage shows Blackburn councillor Hussain Akhtar encouraging the youngsters to walk on the ice, just as the council has warned people of the potentially deadly dangers of doing so.

The video shows Cllr Hussain on his morning walk in Corporation Park, Blackburn, during the recent spell of very cold weather.

He spots the youths on the park lake and as he films he says: “The boys are walking on the water today, is it very hard? Is it solid? Can you walk? Go on then walk on this where the is lady (the statue in the centre of the lake). Very nice, you can walk on the water, good man.”

A mother from Blackburn, who had seen the footage, said she was concerned for the safety of the young people in the video and the example that the councillor was setting.

She said: “A councillor encouraging the young lads to walk on ice, I am fuming.

“If this was my children I would be hopping mad, just imagine if the ice had cracked and they had fallen in.”

This week Blackburn with Darwen Council issued an article on its online Shuttle news website warning people that walking or skating on frozen lakes can be dangerous.

Director of adult services and health Sayyed Osman said: “We are aware of videos circulating on social media where teenagers are seen dangerously sliding across frozen water.

“As a council we have taken immediate action to address the issues raised internally through the proper processes and will continue to do everything we can to ensure the appropriate safeguarding in this matter.

“Clearly members and officers are guided by the principles of keeping people safe. At no time should anyone be encouraged to walk on frozen water, this presents a real risk of harm.”

Cllr Akhtar has now apologised and has pledged not to repeat such actions.

He said: “The leader (Cllr Mohammed Khan) spoke to me about it and now we’ve done something about it. He sent me an email and said don’t do anything like this again so I said OK.”

Deputy leader Phil Riley confirmed that his colleague had been spoken to. He said: “It was an incredibly unwise piece of behaviour and Councillor Akhtar has been spoken to by the leader who has tried to impress upon him the seriousness of his actions.

“Councillor Akhtar has assured us that he will not repeat his actions in future and will also be much more responsible in his use of social media.”

He is the second Blackburn councillor to be censured this week after the mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Iftakhar Hussain had to step down from his role after breaking lockdown rules.

For more information on the dangers of frozen bodies of water, go to theshuttle.org.uk/stay-safe-by-staying-off-frozen-water/