Northampton residents ‘disgusted’ only one of two anti-social behaviour alleyways will be gated off

Councillor Gareth Eales next to rubbish dumped in alleway in Spencer
Councillor Gareth Eales next to rubbish dumped in alleway in Spencer
  • Shortage of funding means only one alleyway can be gated off
  • Both alleyways are common spots for fly-tipping of mattresses and toilets, drug materials and human excrement
  • Councillor Gareth Eales has pledged £2,000 towards funding an extra gate

Residents campaigning for two alleyways in Northampton to be gated off to prevent anti-social behaviour say they are “disgusted” after being told they can only be given one.

The alleyways between Baring Road, Newcombe Road and Symington Street in the Spencer area have been hot-spots for fly-tipping, drug use and drinking for several years, residents living nearby said.

There are currently three bags of used syringes outside my back fence, human excrement, and I have challenged people “jacking up” outside my gate and drinking

Vanessa, Newcombe Road resident

One Newcombe Road resident, Vanessa, said: “Almost as soon as we clear the alleyways, they are full of mattresses, food debris, toilets, and beer cans.

“There are currently three bags of used syringes outside my back fence, human excrement, and I have challenged people “jacking up” outside my gate and drinking.”

However, with only enough funding to install a single gate to block access to one of the alleyways, some residents face disappointment.

Vanessa said: “A community police officer came knocking on doors to ask who would pay £5 per year for alleyway gates and it seemed that an end to our misery was in sight.

“But when I enquired why no one knocked on my door, I was told there is only funding for one side of the street the alleyway backs on to.

“I am absolutely disgusted. I appreciate that money is not plentiful but, with all residents experiencing the same issues day in day out, at what point was it decided that one side of the street was more important than the other?

“We are all trying to protect our children and ensure they grow up in a safe environment where they are free from harm.”

Councillor Gareth Eales (Lab, Spencer) has been involved in consultations with residents from the Community Safety Team and will meet next week with Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh to find a way to fund gating for both alleyways.

He said: “Only gating one alley would act as a divisive measure, where half the residents feel disenfranchised. I understand officers can only act within their budget allocation and the reality is there is only funding available to gate one side.

“However, if you gate off only one, all the anti-social behaviour gets magnified into the remaining open alleyway and that will cause more mayhem for those residents.

“I intend to wholeheartedly pursue this and I am prepared to fund half the money needed - around £2,000 - from my Councillor Empowerment Fund to make that happen. I hope the borough council find a way to match that commitment.”