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Residents in Preston overwhelmingly back keeping alleygates

Posted on - 23rd October, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston Council, Preston News
Alleygates in Preston
Alleygates in Preston

Preston’s alleygates will remain in place after residents overwhelmingly backed retaining them.

Preston City Council recently carried out a public consultation into the gated areas, which it is obliged to review every three years.

The security features can be found on more than 120 streets in the city, having been introduced over the past 20 years, with the aim of deterring crime and antisocial behaviour in alleys and ginnels.   They will now continue to operate for at least another three years, after a decision by cabinet members.

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While all but two of the 63 people who responded to the survey backed the gates, concerns were raised about the cleanliness and tidiness of the closed-off areas that lie behind them.

One Ashton resident accused the city council of failing to maintain the secure spaces.

“You don’t allow people to use them, but also don’t weed or remove rubbish. It’s a mess and you either need to maintain it or let people use it properly.

“[It] could be nice to use it for growing more plants,” the local commented in their consultation response.

Some residents also questioned the security of the gates, because of the possibility of former residents still having access to keys.  The only people other than existing householders who should have a key are workers from emergency and statutory services.

Overall, however, the alleygates were praised for doing the job that was intended.

“Prior to the gates being installed, we did have issues with antisocial behaviour,” another consultation respondent said.

“The gates allow you to sleep more easily at night and it’s reassuring to know that the only people who have access are your neighbour’s and the bin men.  They definitely need to stay.”

Responding to the results of the consultation, Freddie Bailey, Preston City Council’s cabinet member for environment and public safety, said: “The alleygate scheme across the city has been a great success with a marked reduction in fly tipping and antisocial behaviour, with many residents feeling safer in their communities.

 “There have been some concerns raised over the general upkeep around the gated areas, such as weeding and keeping it free from debris and this something that will be followed up with the street cleaning teams and through ongoing dialogue with the residents. Regular changes of keys and locks to ensure maximum security will also be looked into for the ongoing safety of residents,” Cllr Bailey added.

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