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Northgate residents forced to clean up ‘drug den alley’ right behind town hall



Residents who live on Northgate Road have been forced to take matters into their own hands after desperate pleas to the council have resulted in no action.

For the past three years, one resident in particular, Phil Smith, has been campaigning for help to his local councillor and at full council meetings.

The problem is with a dirt road and alley way that runs between the back of the houses on Northgate Road and the town hall.

In plain view of the councils own building and emerging next to their very own offices the alley is being used as a dumping ground and as a shelter for drug and alcohol use.

Phil Smith has spent years campaigning for help from the council to clean up the alley.

Mr Smith explains:

“The Council appear to ignore this town central area and have done for years , we are so fed up with the mess I have taken it on with three others to tidy up ourselves. Many youths use this area behind my house to hide items stolen from town shops, youths smoke, take drugs, and use needles. Knives, several hundred drink cans and bottles and rubbish generally which thrown in bushed area surrounding large tree.

Open blades are common place in the alley.

But despite Mr Smith and his neighbours cleaning up the area it doesn’t take more than a couple of days for the problem to re-emerge.

Exposed needles show just how dangerous an area it is just to walk through.

As Mr Smith showed us the alley we found needles, knife blades, drug packets, bongs, security tags and hundreds of alcohol cans littering the pathway, all easily accessible to people walking by and numerous trip hazards that could cause a person to fall on these dangerous items.

Remnants of tubes used as bongs can be seen littering the ground.

Mr Smith explained that the council had added a bin halfway along the road but it was doing nothing to solve the problem.

Hundreds of alcohol cans are strewn everywhere.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said that his home and many of his neighbours had been burgled several times over the past few years and the only response they had received from the police was that they would add more patrols.

He said:

“Why can’t they just seal off the alleyway?  It serves no purpose but to get to our own houses and we do not want it!  People climb up on our extensions and cause serious trouble, enough is enough.”

The residents have turned to MP Henry Smith who has already respondedhe will look into the matter but the frustration they are feeling is very evident.

Mr Smith added:

I will be forwarding a invoice to the council for three peoples labour.

A response from Crawley Council is pending.

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Council have plans in place for ‘Beast from the East’

Salting operations are to continue throughout the period; snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.



Yellow warnings for snow in Crawley have been issued by the Met Office until Wednesday. Photo: MetOffice

Snowfall will be effecting most of the country over the forthcoming week and the Met Office have issued yellow weather warnings for snow as well as amber warnings for some areas.

Following these warnings, West Sussex County Council have said they have plans in place to keep main roads open.

A West Sussex Highways spokesman said:

“Precautionary salting operations will continue throughout the period and snow ploughs will be fitted when required to ensure main roads are kept open.

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“We are therefore advising Town and Parish Councils to be prepared to enact their Winter Management Plans IF and when we issue an instruction to do so.”

A further update will be issued later today.

The County Council’s winter campaign website page has several sections giving advice on ‘staying warm’ please click here.

If you know or look after someone who may be susceptible to the effects of this cold weather period, please help ensure they stay warm and well and check in advance that they are prepared for this cold spell.

WSCC have offered some general advice including:

• Stay tuned in to weather forecasts.
• Check and maintain daytime room temperatures of 21°C.
• Check bedroom night-time temperatures and maintain it at 18°C or warmer.
• Keep warm and active and, if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes.
• If you are concerned about your own health or welfare, or that of others, please alert the emergency services – details: emergency services.

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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