Gainsborough: Have your say on whether a footpath which has been connected to criminal damage and anti social behaviour should be closed

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West Lindsey District Council is seeking your views on whether it should use its powers to close a footpath in the town.

Consultation has already started on the proposal, which would affect the footpath on Enderby Crescent. This leads to an area known locally as ‘Rec Hill’ that goes into the town centre.

Lincolnshire Police have recorded a number of incidents relating to criminal damage and anti-social behaviour in the area, caused by a minority of users of the path.

The council has worked in partnership with Lincolnshire Police to find a solution to the problem.

Lesley Beevers, regulatory team manager at the council said a Public Spaces Protection Order is being looked at as a last resort.

She said: “We have been asked to explore whether we should use the order to close the area, following complaints by residents of damage to property and disturbed nights over a number of years.

“We are aware that the footpath is used by many local residents, workers and cyclists, so wish to ensure all users of the path and residents are able to voice their opinion as part of the process.

“Anyone wishing to make a comment in support of or against of the order is encouraged to do so by January 15 which will be taken into consideration.”

Comments should be made in writing to West Lindsey District Council, Guildhall, Marshalls Yard, Gainsborough DN21 2NA, or can be emailed to engagement@west-lindsey.gov.uk

In October 2014, the council gained powers to close footpaths which may facilitate crime and anti-social behaviour under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Gainsborough Town Council are hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, January 6, at 6.30pm at the New Life Christian Fellowship Church in Middlefield Lane. The meeting will be attended by West Lindsey District Council and local Police who will present their proposals to close the footpath.

The town council want to give concerned residents an opportunity to voice their concerns, ask questions directly of the authorities submitting the proposals and provide their input into the consultation over the proposed closure of the footpath.

All members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting.

West Lindsey Community Policing Inspector, Insp Simon Outen, said: “There have been a number of incidents at the location for a number of years now, which are associated with users of the footpath, particularly at night, causing disorder and damage to local residents’ property.

“Despite a number of different approaches taken by the police to try and catch those responsible, the variance of offending, both in nature and time means that the only viable long term solution to bring a respite for local residents is the closure of the footpath.

“This proposal has only been considered after all other options have been exhausted from a policing perspective.”