Defiant over gate issue

DESPITE an official refusal to allow a gate across Cow and Hare passage in St Ives, business owner, Tony Webster, who has family living in the passage, has vowed to keep shutting off the route on Friday and Saturday nights. Cambridgeshire County Council

DESPITE an official refusal to allow a gate across Cow and Hare passage in St Ives, business owner, Tony Webster, who has family living in the passage, has vowed to keep shutting off the route on Friday and Saturday nights.

Cambridgeshire County Council has now officially rejected a plea from residents to allow them permission to block the passage in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour.

The issue is back on the agenda for the next meeting of the county council's Huntingdonshire traffic management area joint committee on Monday, September 3 at The Burgess Hall in St Ives.

However, while the committee will be told the gating order has been rejected, Mr Webster says he will continue to close the gate.


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He told The Hunts Post: "This won't make any difference. We will continue our campaign of civil disobedience. I want to be taken to court but the county council is afraid to tackle me. We started locking the gate in 2001 after three flats were set on fire when the people were asleep in their beds.

"Drunks have almost killed themselves in the passage. Residents have called the ambulance and the drunks have been taken to A&E - they have climbed up on the roof and knocked down masonry that could have killed someone."

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A spokesman for CCC said the decision to refuse permission to lock the gate had been taken after police reported that alternative routes were worse affected by crime than Cow and Hare passage.

A police report to the committee has said that crime levels in the passage are low compared with other parts of St Ives town centre and they did not want more people diverted into other problem areas.

St Ives Town Council had initially supported the application for the gating order with the proviso that the gate was closed only between 11pm and 6am on Friday and Saturday nights and that the gate was electronically controlled and regularly checked and maintained.

However, according to the county council documents, no such electronically-controlled gate is available on the market and someone would have to be employed to open and close the gate. The county council has suggested that other solutions, such as CCTV be explored.

A spokesman for CCC added that as the gate was not a permanent fixture, they would wait to see what transpired.

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