COUNCILLORS found a deadly razor when they visited a ginnel believed to be a rat-run for criminals.

Couns Edward Harrison and Alan Jones, who represent the Meadowhead ward, Blackburn, went to see for themselves the problems with the ginnel between Ernlouen Close and Queensway, Livesey.

Prospective parliamentary candidate for Blackburn John Cotton and the Tory candidate for the ward in the local elections, Paul McGurty, also attended the meeting with Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators Betty North and Jean Lewis.

Coun Harrison said there had been problems with the shortcut for years. Residents have found drug paraphernalia in the narrow ginnel, and believe criminals use it to escape from the close.

But when residents campaigned for it to be closed, Blackburn with Darwen councillors decided at a council meeting in December to put up street lighting instead.

Coun Harrison said: "The fact that we found this weapon when we visited shows just what a problem it is."

He said he planned to campaign for the council to reconsider their decision, and Jean Lewis plans to speak at the next council meeting on February 1 during the public question and answer session.

A spokeswoman for the council said the planning and highways committee had already decided to keep the path open and put in new safety measures including street lighting and waste bins.

She said: "The path is used by local people as a short cut from the homes in the estate and is considered valuable for pedestrians. Police have been consulted and agree the path should remain open providing new lighting is installed."