I’ve lost out to vandals

I AM a resident of Cow and Hare Passage and am astonished at the lack of support we have been given to close the gate at night. I take great pride in my house and the frontage and am sure that most users of the passageway enjoy using it because it is loo

I AM a resident of Cow and Hare Passage and am astonished at the lack of support we have been given to close the gate at night.

I take great pride in my house and the frontage and am sure that most users of the passageway enjoy using it because it is looked after and a pretty passageway to walk through.

It is with great disappointment that I feel I will no longer be able to enjoy making my house look pretty outside, as I am not prepared to watch it being carried away or pulled down by drunken people passing by who cannot resist causing a bit of damage.

Although I agree that I have chosen to live so close to town that I should expect some degree of anti-social behaviour, noise is one thing, drunken louts stealing hanging baskets or urinating up against the side of your house, or worse still breaking into cars, seems a little unfair to have to put up with.

Surely a gate locked from 10pm to 6am can only be affecting the people we don't want to use the passageway - 100 yards up the road is a passageway that is well lit and has no residents for these people to upset.

NIKKI MILLER, Cow and Hare Passage, St Ives

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* AFTER a pleasant evening in one of the popular watering holes on the Broadway, in St Ives, on a recent Saturday, my wife and I set off for home at 10.45pm thinking that we would walk through the Cow and Hare Passage.

But the gate was locked by two heavy chains.

As it is a right of way, this is unacceptable. After a public inquiry earlier in the year, an independent Government inspector found the passageway to be a right of way and ordered that the gate should not be locked.

If the residents of the passage are being disturbed by anti-social behaviour, this is a matter for the police and parents and should be sorted out. It is not right that these residents should be breaking the laws of rights of way and inconveniencing the law-abiding people who are making their way home.

Are we going eventually to have another gated development in our pleasant market town? If farmers closed bridle paths and right-to-roam areas it would not be correct, so why should Mr Webster be different? The authorities should ensure that these gates are not locked - ever.

ERIC BROCKLEBANK, Fairfields, St Ives

* THE residents of Cow and Hare Passage are entitled to be free of anti-social behaviour, as are we all, and should be able to lock their gate.

There are two alternative routes from the area of the Broadway - Crown Place and George Yard (opposite the museum). Neither of these alternatives requires a walk of more than an additional 60m or so through to East and West Streets.

I suppose if one has had a "skinful" that might be a long way, but whose fault is that?

As for the comments of a spokesman for the Civic Society that anyone living in a town centre should expect a degree of anti-social behaviour, it just beggars belief, and is typical of the out-of-touch attitudes of this self-appointed group, who are responsible to no-one but themselves.

JOE WELSH, St Ives

* AS Cow and Hare Passage has been declared a public right of way, it is irrelevant what the residents or anyone else think as to whether the gates should be locked or not.

In the eyes of the law, the public should be free to use this passage as is their right, without impediment at any time. The locks should be removed immediately.

JOHN SALTER, St Ives

* I WAS born in a house at the East Street end of Cow and Hare Passage and have lived in, and now very near to, St Ives all of my life.

As far as I can see, the reason Mr Webster wishes a locked gate to "improve residents' lives" is for his own monetary gain. He owns five properties down the Cow and Hare and has purchased two pieces of land there on which to build more investment dwellings.

He does not even live in St Ives, so I do wonder what he actually experiences of town night life.

The passage is necessary as a safe route out of the town centre. It has been refurbished with the addition of four new street lights, a far cry from the dark deserted route I would face to collect fish and chips for the family when I was a child.

Cow and Hare was named a passage and should remain that way at all times.

LYNDA EGGETT, Meadow Lane, Hemingford Grey

* I HAVE used the Cow and Hare Passage for more than 60 years, even when it was dark and dingy, long before the route was barred by the gate.

The passage was refurbished by Huntingdonshire District Council at a similar time to improvements to St Ives town centre. The Cow and Hare was given four new lights and totally resurfaced.

The passage was recently made a right of way, therefore the gate should be removed.

It is a popular thoroughfare from East Street to the Broadway and town centre.

At no time should it be locked because many people use this route, both day and night. There is no more trouble there now than in any other part of St Ives.

If this gate is allowed to remain, then what precedent does this set for other householders of the town? Many other public right of ways may be gated whenever anyone feels they need to do so.

B SMITH, St Ives

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