D-day for passage campaign

RESIDENTS battling for the right to restrict access through a St Ives passageway at night are this evening hoping to move a step nearer their goal. People living in Cow and Hare Passage, led by Tony Webster, may soon be able to lock a gate across the pass

RESIDENTS battling for the right to restrict access through a St Ives passageway at night are this evening hoping to move a step nearer their goal.

People living in Cow and Hare Passage, led by Tony Webster, may soon be able to lock a gate across the passage twice a week if Cambridgeshire County Council agrees to grant them a gating order.

If successful, the order would be the first of its kind in Cambridgeshire. It would restrict access to the passage from 10pm-6am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The plan has the backing of a number of organisations but several other bodies still need to be consulted.

St Ives Town Council is meeting tonight (Wednesday) to consider the request for an order.

The final decision will be made by the county council. It is hoped the application will be submitted to the county council by the end of December and a decision made within the next six months.

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Mr Webster started campaigning for the gate to be locked after the passage became a rat-run for late-night revellers, and resulted in a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Although a ruling was made that the passage is a public of way and should not be blocked, Mr Webster has continued to lock the gate on some nights.

He said: "It is necessary to lock the gate to protect the residents' quality of life in the passage.

"Even if we are not granted the gating order I will continue to lock the gate as if it is left open blood is spilt in the passage."

The order is being supported by the Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Thematic Group, which says the order should have a positive impact on anti-social behaviour and residents' quality of life.

Claudia Waters, community safety team leader for the Thematic Group, told The Hunts Post: "It is a new way of dealing with crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour, and it would seem to be the best solution to deal with the anti-social behaviour occurring in Cow and Hare Passage."

Mr Webster, who has family living in the passage, is optimistic the order will be granted.

He said: "It is definitely going to happen - and when it does it will be brilliant as we have been campaigning for it for so long.

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