Lock gate’ to foil yobs

A ST IVES businessman is campaigning for one of the town s passageways to be locked at night in order to prevent outbreaks of anti-social behaviour and improve residents lives. Anthony Webster, owner of Lucid hairdressers, believes the residents of Cow a

A ST IVES businessman is campaigning for one of the town's passageways to be locked at night in order to prevent outbreaks of anti-social behaviour and improve residents' lives.

Anthony Webster, owner of Lucid hairdressers, believes the residents of Cow and Hare Passage will be able to sleep soundly again if a gate across the passage is closed and locked at night.

He told The Hunts Post having the passage open permanently, as required following a public inquiry which declared it a right of way, had led to an increase in disturbances.

"By not allowing residents to lock the gate overnight their quality of living is being ruined by yobs, drunks and criminals who walk through the passageway at night," said Mr Webster. "The residents should have the right to lock the gate to protect themselves from these people."

Access problems through Cow and Hare started when the St Ives Civic Society received letters from residents in the town complaining a gate across the passage was being locked at night.

Following a public inquiry earlier this year, an independent Government inspector found the passageway to be a right of way and ordered that the gate should not be locked.

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Mr Webster wants residents with homes serviced by the passageway to be given the right to lock the passageway from 10pm to 6am.

A spokesman for the St Ives Civic Society said: "We do feel sympathy for those who live in the passage but it is a public right of way and so the gate should not be locked. If you choose to live in a town centre you should expect some degree of anti-social behaviour."

Cambridgeshire County Council is said to be investigating claims the gate is being locked as early as 8pm.

A spokesman said: "We are currently working on a policy that will allow people across the county to apply to have their lanes gated under the Environment and Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005 which came into force this year.

"We have and always will continue to work with residents rather than against them."

* Should the passageway be closed at night to protect residents or is Cow and Hare too important as a route to the town to be blocked off at anytime? E-mail your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk

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